Guwahati: Assam has taken a unique initiative to manage the waste that occurs post the festival of lights Diwali. The northeastern state has taken this initiative under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ campaign.
According to Assam’s tradition, people in the state light earthen lamps on banana trees and banana leaves at the entrances of their residential and commercial establishments on Diwali, after which, the stems of the banana trees used during the festival are of no use once the festival is over.
The Swachh Bharat Mission Urban team in Assam has made a special plan to dispose of this waste post Diwali.
To avoid this, a simple waste management process has been adopted by the urban local body to ensure post Diwali cleanliness, for which, Assam has adopted the principle of ‘3Rs’ to transform the waste into food.
The banana trees, stems and leaves that will be left unused after the Diwali celebrations, will be handed over to the national parks of the state around the urban local bodies for use as fodder for elephants.
Where there are no national parks in the vicinity, the villagers will cut the banana trees into small pieces and hand them over to the urban local bodies for disposal.
From there, the respective local municipal staff will hand over the stems of these trees to cow shelters or waste to compost pits located in the centre.
To eliminate such waste, there are around 104 central compost pits at various places and over 6,000 domestic composting pits.
The Swachh Bharat Mission Urban, under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, is running the ‘Swachh Diwali, Shubh Diwali’ campaign across the country.
All the cities are focusing on celebrating an eco-friendly Diwali this time by signing up for the Swachh Diwali Signature campaign and pledging to use locally made products, donating unused old items to the Reduce Reuse Recycle (RRR) centres, using eco-friendly alternatives of single use plastic items.
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