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A practical solution for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

A practical solution for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
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A Practical Solution For Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The Swachh Bharat mission spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Gandhi Jayanthi is both laudable and achievable, although it seems difficult to impart clean culture in India.

The Swachh Bharat mission spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Gandhi Jayanthi is both laudable and achievable, although it seems difficult to impart clean culture in India. A clean India has never been a priority for previous incumbents. Now that the Prime Minister has given enough momentum for this cause, it is the responsibility of all the State governments, municipalities, panchayats, residents, grocery shops, restaurants, markets, commercial establishments, industries and institutions to take this momentum forward to the next level.

Hitherto, municipalities were engaged in collecting the domestic waste and street litter and transferring the same to the dumping yards located in the outskirts of cities and towns. The dumping yards in the course of time pose health risks to the people living in the neighbourhood. So the need of the hour for the State governments, municipalities and panchayats is to give importance to scientific waste management practices which are quite different from the current method of collection of waste and dumping.

Firstly, municipalities and panchayats should adopt well established and proven scientific waste management practices from the first world countries in Europe and North America. The current practice of using brooms, shovels and push carts to keep the streets clean should give way to scientific waste management techniques. Elsewhere in the first world, waste management in cities has evolved into more scientific ways, taking into consideration the ever expanding population, types of waste, source of waste, segregation of waste, collection methods, transportation and environmentally safe disposal. In highly developed countries, waste management in urban conglomerates is handled by technical specialists called Subject Matter Experts (SME). These experts employ latest techniques, tools and equipments in keeping the public spaces clean. Field workers wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, helmet, work boots and masks as they handle different types of waste from domestic waste to hazardous waste.

The segregation or separation of waste is the most important aspect of scientific waste management being employed in the first world. The waste is separated at the source of generation by residents into compostable waste, recyclable waste and landfill waste. The compostable waste is collected in green bins. The acceptable items in the green bins are food waste that includes meat, bones, egg shells, food soiled paper, fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, flowers, weeds and plants. The recyclable waste goes into blue bins. Blue bins are meant for paper cups, news papers, flyers, books, plastic containers, glass bottles and metal cans. The black bins collect diapers, animal waste, biodegradable plastic bags and yard waste like rocks, soil and wood material. Municipalities in the first world provide green bins, blue bins and black bins in public spaces. The green, blue and black colour coding for waste collection is almost universal in Europe and North America. It is the responsibility of households, apartment blocks, shops, stores, markets and commercial entities to have these three bins in their premises. Municipalities ensure collection and emptying of bins using mechanised trucks as per the schedule.

The waste collected from these bins find its way to appropriate waste processing destinations. The waste from green bins is processed in compost plants to produce compost for agriculture and farming purposes. The material from blue bins is transported to suitable recycle plants such as paper recycle plants, plastic recycle plants metal recycle and glass recycle plants. Some towns with lot of agricultural base generate organic waste which is either used to produce biogas and subsequent electricity generation or bio fuel such as ethanol through patented technology. Garbage from black bins goes to landfill which employs scientifically proven landfill techniques. Hazardous waste from hospitals, commercial entities and industries is collected separately and processed as per the hazardous waste processing protocols.

Finally, litter on streets is removed by appropriate tools like grabber, picker and vacuum pump. In the end, streets are swept and cleaned by mechanised trucks.

In order to make the idea of clean India a successful activity, State governments should identify the model village, model town and model city to implement Swachh Bharat initially on a small scale. After the implementation on a small scale and with the experience gained during the small scale model implementation, the clean India mission can be rolled out in other cities, towns and villages. As part of initial implementation, local governments in the cities, towns and villages should provide green, blue and black bins in the streets and ensure the bins are emptied through mechanised trucks as per the schedule. This requires adequate support in the form of funds to municipalities and gram panchayats. Further, local governments in association with bankers, financial institutions, technology suppliers and scientific work force should encourage and invite entrepreneurs to establish waste processing plants such as compost plants, paper recycle plants, plastic recycle plants, glass recycle plants, metal recycle plants and other allied industries such as waste management tools, equipment, collections bins and mechanised trucks. This activity not only generates a huge employment opportunities across India but also creates skilled work force required for scientific waste management.

It is also important to inculcate the idea of clean culture in schools as part of the curriculum every year for four years from class 9 to class 12 with emphasis on personal hygiene, public sanitation and waste management. The students after class 12 with waste management skills should be offered direct employment in the waste management industry. It is also essential to incorporate the clean culture element in the maintenance, planning and design of cities, towns and villages.

The concept of Clean India would become successful when there is a full participation from all the stake holders namely citizens, local governments, commercial entities, financial institutions, technology suppliers, industries and entrepreneurs with an unmatched zeal never seen before in any nation building process. In the end, all the residents will be proud of their villages, towns and cities because they are clean and beautiful providing healthy neighborhoods for the residents and good image for the cities, towns and villages.

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