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Challenges faced by the implementing agencies on managing the municipal solid wastes,

with special reference to Kanyakumari District:

(P.Kirupanantha Rajan, District Environmental Engineer, Tamilnadu Pollution Control

Board, Nagercoil )


The urbanization and the growing consumerism steadily increase the generation of
domestic solid wastes which make severe stress on the available land and water resources, in
addition to the paucity of funds and limitations in the technical exposure for managing the
municipal solid wastes. Though the Municipal Solid Wastes (management and handling) Rules
enacted a decade ago, the actual implementation in more of the Local Bodies is still in the
embryonic stage only. The universal littering behavior in India, absence of source segregation of
domestic wastes, increasing mass of the invading foreign materials like plastics, metallic sheets
etc, inadequate exposure in the secured landfill are the few major challenges faced by the
implementing agencies on scientifically managing the municipal solid wastes. The shortage of
sanitary workers or in other words, the disproportionate number of workers against the growing
urbanization or consumerism, indifferent policy in outsourcing are the micro level causes which
hinder the effective and scientific management of the municipal solid wastes.

The Kanyakumari District spreading over 1650 hectares is occupied with the reserved
forests around one third of the total area and with the projected population over 18 lakhs in the
year 2011. The District becomes to have high population density in India. The average income
level per capita of the District is also high and so, the consumerism index is also high. The
existence 56 Town Panchayats indicates that the District is almost fully urbanized and the
sequence of lesser land mass, higher population, greater income, enhanced consumerism and
higher generation of solid wastes are interlinked with each other. Also, the existence of more
than 2000 water bodies in this District makes it difficult to identify the suitable land for scientific
composting and landfill within the criteria for fixing the site to be located atleast 100 meters
away from the approved habitation and the water bodies. The tourism spots like Kanyakumari,
Thirparappu etc also make it very difficult to handle the solid wastes generated during the

The overall solution is lying in the source segregation of the 550 Tonnes of solid wastes
generated everyday from the District. The solid wastes taxing system, combined solid wastes
management programme, prolonged and continuous education system on solid wastes are the
few area suggested for consideration, in solving the challenges faced by the local bodies for the
effective Municipal Solid Wastes Management in Kanyakumari District.