Setting examples: Dumpyard used as wedding site

Before the project.

After the project.

KOLKATA, 20 MAY: In what is touted to be the first time in India and possibly the world, the municipal commissioner of Salur in Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh is celebrating the wedding of his daughter on a dumpsite.
The wedding venue is a part of an 8.4 acre dumpsite, now beautified into a Resource Park. The wedding is on 27 May, 2012.
Mr Shaikh Subhani, who took over as Salur’s Municipal Commissioner in March 2011, cleaned up Salur’s choked waste site, located within the town, in 40 days, piling the waste 15ft high onto a half-acre corner. This stabilized waste is slowly being screened and used. Mr Subhani’s decision to hold his daughter’s wedding in the beautified dumpyard was inspired, he says, by the Andhra Pradesh director of municipal administration, Mr Janardhan Reddy’s initiative of holding his regional meeting in nearby Bobbili town’s cleaned dumpyard in July 2011.
Mr Reddy has inspired 14 towns in Andhra Pradesh to similarly clean up their wastes. Andhra Pradesh is now a leader in the country on waste management. Suryapet in Nalgonda district with a population of 1.03 lacs, became India’s first fully waste-management-compliant city in 2003, led by the then municipal commissioner Mr SA Khadar Saheb, now joint director of municipal administration of Andhra Pradesh.
The Salur dumpsite now features a Resource Park with plantations, and spaces for vermi-composting and stack composting of 2 tons pulverized wet waste per day. The town generates approximately 12 tons of waste per day, eighty percent of which is covered by door-to-door collection. The mixed waste is then sorted. A gobar gas unit runs on animal dung. Drains are cleared. All waste management is now done by just 80 workers.
Salur, with a population of 50,490, is a curious mix of rolling hills, verdant scenery and jasmine plantations combined with an industrial automotive centre. Plastic carry-bags were banned in this transport hub through persuasion and voluntary compliance from 15 August 2011.
Mr Subhani, excited over his initiative, said on phone: “I have invited the press to wedding so that idea reaches other places as well. Vast areas of land are rendered useless with unplanned dumping of garbage.”
His daughter, Ms Sheikh Tajida Tahasel, said that people find the idea of organising a wedding on a beautified dumpsite weird but this will perhaps set an example for others as well.

Soma Basu

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