Implementing the Municipal solid waste guidelines

I’m posting this on behalf of @vinod who worked with people affected by the problem of waste disposal and persuaded the government to take up some key actions.

Problem: Bhatkal Municipality in coastal Karnataka was dumping solid waste at a landfill site near Bilalkhand village. However the landfill site was in violation of several clauses of Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2000. Major violations were window platform meant for segregation was partly constructed and was not in use, leachate collection pit was not established and final covering after landfill was not properly done. Due to these violations, in the monsoon months, rainwater mixed with the leachate and flowed into and contaminated agricultural land of the Bilalkhand villagers. More than 60 families were affected by this problem. Villagers had filed complaints with local Panchayat and Municipality several times but no action was taken.

Remedy: The remedy sought by the villagers was not to displace the landfill site to another place but the strict compliance of solid waste management law so that the contamination by the leachate water and stench from the landfill site could be stopped.

Case highlights:

  • CPR-Namati EJ team met the affected villagers during August, 2016 and were introduced to the issue by them.
  • We collected information regarding clearance letter, forest land lease, consent letters, previous complaints and we also did site visits and collected photographs. We met several villagers and the panchayat (village council) to understand the problem in detail.
  • We studied the law and documents collected regarding the landfill site. By doing this we made a list of violations done by the project.
  • With all this information we conducted meetings at Bilalkhand village and also conducted a legal training on Solid waste laws, the approval procedures to set up landfills and list of violations that we identified.
  • With the villagers we listed the remedies needed and prepared a detailed letter. The main remedies were related to stopping the leachate water from entering the village and farm land and getting rid of the bad smell.
  • We approached the Municipality with our clients and submitted the letter. After several follow-up trips, the Municipality of Bhatkal responded to our complaint and agreed to implement the landfill site clauses at Bhatkal site.
  • When we last did a site visit we saw the improvement in the condition of landfill site and the villagers are happy about it.
  • The Municipality needs to start segregating waste and they have got a contractor to complete the remaining tasks. Our clients and us will monitor this issue for the next few months to ensure that the remaining tasks to manage the landfill are completed.

The above are pictures of a training on the Municipal Soild Waste Guidelines and the violations in the implementation of landfills we received a response from the Municipality on our complaint. Below are the pictures to show the difference in the site before and after our work on the case.

Look forward to comments and suggestions as well as sharing of similar cases that others have worked on.

@namati_staff

9 Likes

well done India team.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing this case @vinod and @manjumenon! The photos show an amazing difference already!

You mentioned you collected information on the clearance letter, lease, previous complaints, and other relevant aspects of the case. I was wondering how difficult it is to access these documents. Are many of them already public, or do you need to negotiate with government and/or companies or use right to information laws to be able to complete thorough fact finding?

what a lovely case- congratulatons @vinod!