Mangaluru, July 30, 2017: Just on the thresh-hold of a point in time when the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) is preparing to launch the ambitious Smart City project involving crores of rupees, a selected few pourakarmikas in the city have honed their skills abroad in dealing with waste. The rotting waste menace has turned into a formidable challenge to address on all fronts. Six pourakarmikas from the city were a part of the first batch of 38 civic workers from the state, who had gone on a government-sponsored study tour to Singapore. Also a maiden initiative of the government, they were introduced to the best practices in management of solid waste (MSW) including collection and segregation of waste.
That apart, the six who were on a dream come true tour, for visiting a foreign country, did not miss out on the opportunity to visit the exotic locales including the beaches and other attractions. The gigantic Marina Tower from where one can espy the city is etched in their memory.
Vijayalakshmi from Car Street ward, Ranjan and Ramachandra from Lady Hill, Ashoka and Jayaprakash from Jeppu and Raja from Kadri are the pourakarmikas from the city, who visited the city-state between July 4 and 7. They were led by Commissioner, Department of Municipal Administration, Mahanteshappa and environment engineer Ashwini.
Lone woman : Vijayalakshmi, who has a vast experience of 22 years of service, currently deputed at the main office of MCC, told media, “The Mangaluru city can also be turned into another Singapore only with the people’s cooperation, that is key to the success of any initiative.”
Looking jet lagged, Vijayalakshmi was, however, voluminous in unwinding the study tour that began with a workshop at a hotel in the foreign city, followed by field visits.
While the workshop was in English, the two native officers accompanying them, translated the contents into Kannada. The field visits included a stop at the waste processing unit and also condominiums where different coloured bins are placed to collect waste.
IAshoka from Jeepu ward was in awe of the awareness level of the citizens there, whose cooperation in effectively dealing with waste, mirrors everywhere, he added.
“Mention must be made of various methods adopted by the civic body in that country to process any type of waste and convert the same into energy. The waste processing unit deals with any types of waste - plastic, iron, bottles and tins. The sewage water is also used to produce gas underground, while the remaining sewage is used for gardening.
Even the rainwater harvesting is undertaken in a big way, with a dedicated facility created to store water underground akin to a lake’, recalled Ashoka.
Says Ashoka, “Our job does not end with the tour, as we have been sharing the knowledge gathered in the foreign country with fellow workers.”
The MCC has 219 permanent civic workers, 42 daily wagers and 623 others outsourced by Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd, the external agency that has been tasked with cleaning and door-to-door collection of waste at majority of 60 wards in the city.
As was the procedure, only those pourakarmikas with the experience of 10 years and above were selected for the tour. The other criterion included - regularised in service and good track record.
While six pourakarmikas from every city corporations will be taken out on tour, the quota for other urban local bodies are - four from city municipal council, two from town municipality and one from town panchayat. Hopefully more will be sent and the experiences will translate into results with the citizens as well.