Ajouli village panchayat in Una development block has bagged the title of the first panchayat of the district to have fully functional solid and liquid waste management systems. While the panchayat had a liquid waste management facility, the solid waste management system has been launched recently.
“Each of the 415-odd households is charged a token fee of Re 1 per day for the waste management system. The sanitation workers deputed by the panchayat collect waste from households in two separate color coded buckets – green for wet waste and blue for solid waste,” said Panchayat Pradhan Parveen Kumari.
The collected waste material is transported on cycle-rickshaws to the garbage processing plant set up in the village, she added.
The waste collected is then segregated again into three categories, namely biodegradable waste, kitchen waste, plastic material such as plastic bottles and cans, and bio-medical hazardous waste such as sanitary pads, bandages and diapers.
Panchayat Up-Pradhan Surinder Nath Duvedi shared, “The wet kitchen waste is fed into an electrically-operated composting machine, which can store 150 kg of organic material per day in one of its four chambers where it is converted into 15 kg of good quality black compost within four days. It means 15 kg of compost is processed for use in the village every day.”
“Plastic material is shredded using a machine and is being stocked and will be sold to plastic recycling units in the Baddi industrial area,” says ward member Sikander Lal. “Bio-medical waste is disposed of in an electric incinerator,” he added.
Former Panchayat Pradhan Sandeep Duvedi shared that he had executed the liquid waste management plan at a cost of Rs 20 lakh during his five-year tenure from 2009 to 2014. “To do away with open drains, kitchen and bathroom waste water was collected through pipes and disposed of in three separate locations – an unused village pond, a nearby sewerage being maintained by the Punjab government and a tributary of the Swan river.”
Panchayat Secretary Sarabjit Kaur shared that Rs 20 lakh has been spent on the liquid waste management system. The shed for the solid waste management system was constructed at a cost of Rs 6 lakh and the three machines used in solid waste management cost Rs 12.5 lakh.
“Dustbins distributed to each household were procured at a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh, while three rickshaws to ferry waste were purchased at a cost of Rs 47,000,” she added.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary shared that over the years, Ajouli panchayat has made big strides in bringing about sanitation and cleanliness. It has been awarded the Nirmal Gram Puruskar and Rs 10 lakh in 2013, the Maharishi Valmiki Sampoorna Swacchata Puraskaar and Rs 5 lakh in 2016, and Rs 1 lakh in 2018 for being the cleanest panchayat in the district.