The district administration of Dehradun in Uttarakhand has adopted a cluster model for implementation of solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) works in the hilly regions of Doiwala Development Block that is home to scattered habitations and where transportation facilities are non-existent.
The interventions were made by the Uttarakhand Panchayati Raj Department on a pilot basis, aimed at making all those villages, whether in the plains, foothills, peri-urban or Gram Panchayats across the Block as ODF Plus, in keeping with the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) Phase II guidelines. In this regard, the support of the village panchayats and communities was enlisted.
As many as 8 Gram Panchayats were formed into a cluster in 2018: Bhogpur, Gadual, Bagi, Rakhwalgaun, Kodsi, Sarandharwala, Ranipokhari Mauja and Ranipokhari Grant. Thereafter, with the CSR (corporate social responsibility) support of IndusInd Bank, the work was carried out, supervised by a cluster committee involving representatives of various Gram Panchayats.
At the outset, IndusInd Bank provided 2 garbage collection vehicles to the Panchayat Raj Department. After distribution of dustbins to all households, village level solid waste management structures were constructed or set up. This included – community garbage pits, individual compost pits, biogas plants, individual soak pits, drainage channels, etc., all of which were completed under SBM-G. With SBM-G funds two additional garbage collection vehicles were provided with the help of which door to door collection of segregated garbage commenced in all 8 GPs.
To accommodate the garbage that was collected, a common collection/segregation shed was proposed. However, the plan did not materialise as common land was not available. At this point of time, NGO SUDHA came forward to provide managerial support to the cluster. They helped set up a bio-composting unit in Badkot Mafi with the support of the Zila Panchayat of Dehradun where all biodegradable waste was treated. Non-biodegradable waste was sent to the Urban Segregation and Collection Centre for appropriate recycling or disposal.
The success of the SWM operation led to 3 more GPs (Badkot, Listabad and Rainapur Grant) being added to the cluster.
Presently, garbage of the 11 GPs consisting of about 3500 households is collected by the 4 vehicles every alternate day. Dry waste and wet waste are collected door to door separately and then sent to nearby Nagar Panchayat Doiwala Segregation/Processing Centre. A user charge of Rs.30 per household and Rs. 50 per shop per month is collected by the GPs. Further, a processing fee is paid to Nagar Panchayat Doiwala by the cluster committee.
According to the current Chairman of cluster committee – Sri Sudhir Raturi, the community’s behaviour to solid waste has changed. All households segregate their waste and await the garbage collection vehicle for disposal. If for some reason the vehicle is unable to reach their home on the due date and time, they are free to call the committee to enquire. This has transformed the village that is now visually clean.
Panchayat representatives from other districts of Uttarakhand and also other states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh and West Bengal have visited the area to study the successful cluster model for management of solid waste in rural areas.
By Dr. Ramesh Badola, Environment Specialist PMU SWAJAL Uttarakhand and Smt. Manju Joshi, Community Development Specialist, DPMU Dehradun, Swajal, Uttarakhand