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How to make Guwahati a comfortable place to live in? - Part III

Sentinel Digital Desk

Continued from yesterday


(XIV) Use of plastic bags: In the past there have been proposals with the State government to ban the use of plastic bags. However, proposal remained as proposal only. It seemed that the State government did not make any serious attempt to implement it. To ban it, the government must go to the source where it is being manufactured. Ban it; people will get used to it. It is high time to say good bye to plastic bags.

(XV) Sewage treatment plant: To make the environment free from dirt, filth, bacteria and odor; sewage treatment plants are very essential in our urban areas and Guwahati in particular. When all categories of sewage whether household effluent, human excreta, hospital waste, municipal waste, industrial waste and storm water from buildings, streets etc are dumped in open drains the environment gets contamited with bacteria and odor it carries and resulted in transmitting disease to humans and animals. Filly, untreated sewage is discharged in the river and which pollutes the river water as well. The pollutant in river would not only affect human being, it also affects fish and marine lives. Therefore urban sewage is to be treated in sewage treatment plant before being released into the river. The sewage treatment is a process of removing contamints by means of physical, chemical and biological process thereby produced environmentally safe treated wastewater. A sewage treatment process would also produce a semi-solid waste or slurry, called sewage sludge. The sewage sludge would be treated further before being suitable for disposal as land fill and can also be used as fertilizer. Bio-gas can be extracted and used as fuel for household purposes and also to generate electricity.

In Guwahati, all sewage whether domestic, industry, hospitals and storm water are dumped in the open drains. This has created huge environmental as well as health problem in the city. As such GMC/GMDA should go for a few sewage treatment plants without any further delay. Laying of branch pipe lines and header pipe lines would be an integral part of the sewage treatment plant. Instead of releasing sewage directly to the drains the sewage of all categories can be carried through branch lines from home, hospitals, industry etc to the main header line. Through slurry pumps the sewage can be brought to the plant for treatment. Storm water sewage can be carried separately and can be released directly in the river provided if it is not contamited with harmful chemicals.

(XVI) Solid waste disposal: Disposal of solid waste, no doubt is a huge task. Despite the fact there has been knowhow in place to deal with it effectively. In the twenty-first century when knowledge, information, technology and resources are available to mage solid waste, there is no point in adhering to age old method to shift waste from one place to another. There is no logic to clean one place and then dump the same in a virgin soil to make that place filthy and unhygienic. That is exactly happening in Guwahati; leave aside other places of the state. GMC is dumping all waste and filth of the city near Deepar Beel close to Bora -gaon full of human habitat and thereby making that area unhygienic and stinking. And the environment becomes hazardous. In the processes the dumping ground became useless for other purpose. Lack of intent, will and vision on the part of the authority are responsible to go things disarray. Nevertheless, we can strive to stop further damage to the environment by adopting scientific and sustaible waste magement technique.

(XVII) Solid waste can be classified in the following categories: (1) Bio-degradable waste generated from left-over food items from homes, hotels, eateries etc –It produces biogas, which can be used as fuel for household purpose as well as to generate electricity. Moreover, in the process bacteria and odor get elimited. The fil residue can be used as fertilizer and for the purpose of land fill as well.

(2) Non-metallic: Glass items, plastic items etc: At present, recycling is the best solution for such products. However, the above should not go for land fill.

(3) Combustible items- wood, coal, agricultural waste, cow dung, human excreta and cloth etc. would produce valuable energy and fertilizer.

(4) Metallic items like- steel, aluminum, copper etc: Recycling is the only solution.

(5) Rubbish generated in construction and in demolition activities: Concrete, bricks, sand: Can directly be used for land fill.

The above solid wastes are required to be segregated separately by the producers' (household, hotels, hospitals, industry etc) at the source itself for ease of collection by municipal bodies for further processing.

(XVIII) Cleaning/ sweeping: In the early hours of the day we normally witness the roads are being littered with filth and garbage in front of roadside hotels, eateries, wine shops etc. It is sad that PM's swash Bharat movement could not change the dirty habits of people throwing garbage on the street or in the drains. Instead of keeping garbage in buckets/ packed in bags, some people/ hoteliers throw the same on the streets for GMC's sweepers for sweeping and cleaning the roads in the morning. Some drastic steps must be initiated against the errant hoteliers and individuals for littering the roads with dirt and filth. Moreover, collecting, cleaning and removing garbage should be done after midnight. At present, city's streets are cleaned/ swept in the morning when people are out for morning walk and children are to schools. As a result dusts enter into human body and which are definitely injurious to health.

* To be concluded

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