As part of the Malinya Mukta Nava Keralam campaign, which aims to transform Kerala into a garbage-free state by 2024, the LSGD has intensified enforcement activities in the state.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The local self-government department (LSGD) has slapped notices on over 16,000 bulk waste generators in the state for not having proper garbage management systems. As per the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, any establishment or building whose average waste generation is above 100kg a day or has a built-up area of more than 5,000 square metres should have on-site waste management facilities or should hand over the segregated waste to local bodies or accredited service providers.
According to officials, as per rules, all bulk waste generators should have facilities to manage liquid, non-biodegradable and solid waste generated on their premises.
As part of the Malinya Mukta Nava Keralam (Waste-free New Kerala) campaign, which aims to transform Kerala into a garbage-free state by 2024, the LSGD has intensified enforcement activities in the state. The LSGD has given an ultimatum to all bulk waste generators to set up facilities by November 1, when phase II of the campaign ends.
Hotels, restaurants, caterers, convention centres, marriage halls, places of worship, business establishments, residential communities, educational institutions, or properties belonging to the state and the Union government come under the bulk waste generator categories. “We will extend institutional and technical support to them for setting up waste management facilities. We are trying to introduce modern waste management systems that can be adopted by them to manage waste at source,” said the additional chief secretary of LSGD, Sarada Muraleedharan
The local bodies have already surveyed the bulk waste generators in their jurisdiction, and recently the LSGD has tasked the enforcement squads under them to scrutinise the efforts being taken by the LSGs and the bulk waste generators to set up on-site waste management systems. However, this hasn’t gone down well with the hotel and restaurant operators. “Only classified restaurants have the capacity to set up on-site waste management facilities. Medium and small-scale restaurants and hotels are being penalised.
The reality is that the local bodies have failed to provide waste management solutions to the public. Most restaurant owners are giving away food waste to pig farms, and now the authorities have imposed restrictions. We have landed in a fix, and the local bodies are imposing hefty fines without giving us solutions. Some of the eateries were slapped with a fine of over Rs 1 lakh,” said G Jayapalan, state president of the Kerala Hotel and Restaurants Association (KHRA).
With dissent brewing, LSGD has scheduled a meeting on August 22 with KHRA authorities. “We are ready to cooperate, and the government is very positive, but when it comes to local bodies, they are not helping us,” said Jayapalan.