We live in a country whose entire existence revolves around tardyons, customs, culture and religion. We have a number of festivals and holy days where we observe fasts or have elaborate Havans and Poojas to ring in peace and prosperity of our homes. The poojas evoke the holy God and Goddesses who dispel evil from our house and our hearts but what also goes of our homes after our religious ceremonies is Nirmalaya (used prayer material.)
On the backdrop of the Swachh Bharat Campaign initiated by honourable Prime Minster Narendra Modi, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) too is doing its bit. It has taken the matter treating nirmalaya in their hands. Since October 21, the NMC has treated around three tonnes of nirmalya generated during various religious rituals at Trimbakeshwar.
The civic body began waste treatment following the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Western region, Pune; although it has refused to treat other solid waste from the Trimbak Municipal Corporation (TMC).
The NGT was hearing an application on river pollution against government officials filed by former deputy chairperson of the TMC and trustee of the Trimbakeshwar temple, Lalita Shinde. On October 14, the NGT had given a two weeks to the NMC to start treating the prayer material. During a hearing held earlier, the NGT had categorically asked the TMC how it would be treating the waste generated out of rituals since that it was dumped into the river. Unfortunately, the TMC did not have its own waste management system nor plant, the TMC said that it would ask the NMC to treat the waste.
Eventually, the NGT then directed the NMC to treat the solid waste till the TMC got its own compost plant. The NMC, however, agreed to treat only the nirmalya. Chief officer of TMC N M Nagre said, “We have sent three tons of nirmalya and other used puja material since October 21. This is not the season for rituals, which is why the quantity is less.”
Nagre also went on to say that the NMC had refused to accept other waste at its solid waste management plan. This waste is now being dumped at a landfill in Trimbakeshwar, until the TMC constructs its independent compost plant at Kojuli.
The NMC officials, on the other hand, said that they already had a lot of burden of treating the solid waste of the city and it was not possible to treat the solid waste of the TMC as well. “We don’t have the capacity to treat the extra waste from TMC. We agreed to treat the used nirmalya as it was polluting the river,” said an NMC official.
We have to wait and watch how NMC and TMC come up with better and equipped systems of waste management.