Waste Disposal Still a Distant Dream in Bihar

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Mr. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar in straight talk for construction of quake resistant houses with officials “Can Patna Survive a Quake” is an eye opener to BSDMA (Bihar State disaster Management Authority) after Japan tragedy.

PatnaDaily, long before on Nov.5th, 2010 advocated on the public awareness program about natural disasters but even after a long gap, BSDMA failed to make the CM aware of the man-made disaster – the Methane Bomb - on which over 10,000 apartments  have been built and are under  construction round the clock.

High Court termed thrice “Patna as to be a garbage city of the country”- twice in 2005 and once in 2008.

My opinion also raised by HT-Patna after coming back by presenting a lecture on Solid Waste Technology & Management at Widener University, Philadelphia, USA. Urban development & Housing Minister came out after a long slumber and sanctioned Rs. 41 crore abruptly to the Patna Municipal Corporation for garbage disposal and set up of a waste plant. However, all these proposals vanished; nothing concrete could come up. Till date, the PMC could acquire 80.05 acre of agricultural land only to make landfill station on the outskirt of the city.

At present PMC is disposing off 300-500 MT garbage at different landfill sites even though a large chunk of garbage leftover in different parts of the city is making environment unhealthy and unpleasant.

Not only that, during long distance transportation to landfill sites foul smell and mosquito menace is another root cause of the spreading of diseases either in the passing vicinity or to the rag pickers who have been hired for the work.

Almost all the apartments in Patna is built on landfill sites. Due to lack of awareness, contractors have built apartments on the garbage filled stations. Due to anthropogenic emissions, municipal waste is rich in organic matter and moisture and anaerobic process quickly develop in the lower layers of landfills. Methane, the outcome of the reaction, is lighter and will likely escape by damaging newly built houses. It is a bomb “Methane Bomb” on which apartment buildings have been constructed.

The role of methane in global atmospheric changes has received increasing attention among the experts. It also contributes significantly to annual global emissions. Methane has global warming potential up to 63 times that of carbon dioxide and accounts for about 15 % of the global warming.

Apartments in Patna need proper screening or else even mild tremor would be catastrophic to life and properties.

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