Ukhrul: In a major setback for waste management in Ukhrul headquarters, the Autonomous District Council (ADC), Ukhrul has been unable to find a suitable garbage dumping site, resulting in the suspension of garbage collection services for almost two months now. The previous dumping site in Kazipphung, long restricted due to health hazards and violations of solid waste management norms, has become a headache for the ADC.
According to CEO of ADC Ukhrul, David Kashungnao, when the dumping site was inaugurated in 2015 by Armstrong Pamei, the then Joint Secy T&A Hills, the norm for solid waste management was not given. The solid waste management rules came out in 2016. The office was unable to adhere to the prescribed norms then.
The Lower Hungpung Public Organization (LHPO) its unit and Women of Hungpung Units for Social Advancement (WHUSA) then raised concerns about the health hazards and non-compliance with waste disposal rules through letters in October 2022 and March 2023.
The accumulation of broken glass and an uncontrollable stench posed health risks to nearby paddy fields and villagers. This led to numerous problems. The paddy field owners near the dumping site shared a particular concern from many. “It is getting hard for us to find help from people in our paddy field due to the stench. Apart from the stench, the dumping site is a hub to breed mosquitoes. People are unwilling to land a helping or even visit the area”, told a farmer.
The extent of the dumping issue has caused concerns, including contamination of water sources and the inability to develop the land due to a thick layer of broken glass said David Kashungnao.
The CEO highlighted the financial constraints faced by the ADC, which further complicated the search for an alternative dumping site. “The issues involving the dumping site is that there is no release of fund from the government”, said Kashungnao. Hilighting the reasons they have been facing problem in purchasing new dumping site, he mentioned four parameters.
- To purchase land in credit
- Proper location for dumping site
- Non-dispute land and
- Minimum guidance value (minimal amount)
David Kashungnao expressed the ADC’s willingness to comply with solid waste management norms and revealed plans to install an incinerator. However, due to financial constraints, they sought assistance from the LHPO to allow the use of an incinerator in the old dumping site temporarily, but their request was denied. Kashungnao emphasized that adopting solid waste management practices was essential to prevent further damage to the environment.
Despite the suspension of garbage collection services, there have been little to none complaints from the public so far, according to Kashungnao. Notices were sent to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Ava Market, and localities, urging them to manage the situation temporarily.
Zimik, Chairman Zaoranao Sin shim/ Āva Market informed that they are managing their waste by taking the vegetable waste and disposing in their own house. Other wastes such as carton box are piled up in-front of the market, an inconvenience for the customers and vendors alike.
“I would collect and take the waste to my village and burn them”, said a guy in a pharmacy. While a general store owner said he collects and sends back the waste to the truck going back to Dimapur.
Although some are managing their waste as neat as possible, there are many households and shopkeepers who have nowhere to dispose wastes resulting in pileup on the roadside.
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While this gives ADC more pressure to find a proper dumping site, a philanthropist gave them permission to use their family land as a temporary dumping site in Hunphun. The ADC will be using the the land until they find a permanent solid waste management solution.
“The road needs to be constructed and the site needs some work. This will take minimum one week”, said Kashungnao. The disposing will likely start from 1st week of July.
Emphasizing on the need to set up long term proper solid waste management plan, the CEO appealed the public to cooperate with the Small Town Committee extending financially to incur the garbage collection expenses. He also appealed the youth to take initiative in collecting garbage in the area where the ADC cannot reach by taking subscription fee. “This way they can create employment to the unemployed youth”, said Kashungnao.
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