Metro Man E. Sreedharan to guide “My City” in Kowdiar.

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 23: ‘My City’, the integrated solid waste management project conceived and executed by HLL Lifecare Limited in Kowdiar area of the city was jointly flagged off today by Mayor Adv K. Chandrika,  Shri K. Muraleedharan MLA, Dr E. Sreedharan, former Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Dr. M. Ayyappan, Chairman and Managing Director, HLL at a function held this morning near Gopala Pillai Park, Kowdiar.

The function was also attended by Resident Association representatives of the area and VIPs residing in Kowdiar ward, including J.  Lalithambika,  Retd IAS.

“My City”- is a novel CSR scheme of HLL aiming at totally transforming Kowdiar ward, where HLL’s Peroorkada factory is located, to a dream city.  The project is being implemented in partnership with the Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram and the Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV), a not-for-profit organisation headed by Dr Sreedharan.

The campaign will first focus on behavioral change and thereby building a new civic sense among the people by using social marketing techniques.  The project involves treatment of solid waste at the source by the households using pipe compost / biogas plants in an eco-friendly manner.

“My City” will also targets clean, well-lit streets and greenery and landscaping in public places. The entire street will eventually have a unified colour scheme under the project.  Dr. E. Sreedharan, the Metro Man of India who is known for his engineering brilliance and immaculate integrity, will guide the whole project.

On August 25th 2013 a meeting, chaired by Dr Sreedharan and attended by Shri Muraleedharan, Adv Chandrika, Smt Sathi Devi, Dr Ayyappan, representatives of residents’ associations and others, was held as a prelude to the programme.  During the meeting Dr Sreedharan said, “We have plans and ideas everywhere but what is important is execution”. He exhorted the team to implement the project in a time-bound manner. Dr. Ayyappan assured that the project will be launched within two months’ time. A task force comprising representatives of all stakeholders, including ward members, residential associations and experts in the field was formed during the meeting.

After the August 25th meeting, HLL team visited most of the houses at the ward and interacted with Resident Association representatives and conducted a detailed study on the existing waste management practices. The team also prepared a detailed data base on the Ward. My City project was conceived based on the data collected.

After the flag-off ceremony, Dr. Sreedharan lauded HLL’s social commitment and for starting the project even before the promised time of two months.

“Kowdiar should become an ‘island of excellence’ in Thiruvananthapuram City. It should set a model for others to follow”, he said.  “The starting point of the whole effort is cleanliness in homes and surroundings as well as streets. Involving each of the residents is essential for the success of this project,” he added.

Shri Muraleedharan lauded the initiative of HLL saying he hoped it would encourage more residents to process waste material at source rather than dumping it in public places. He also assured all support for the successful implementation of the project.

Dr M Ayyappan said HLL has collected all relevant data on waste management in Kowdiar. “The first image that comes in mind when we talk about waste management is Vilappilsala. Actually there are more than enough resources, systems and technologies available for waste management. However most of the projects fail because they fail to address the root cause that is creating a new civic sense through effective behavioral change.

Around 60 percent of households have waste management systems in place in Kowdiar but these are not fully functional, Dr Ayyappan said. He said HLL will provide technical assistance to the homeowners to utilise existing systems effectively.

All resident associations in the ward have been giving us full support for the project. We will execute the project in a time-bound manner,” he said.

“We are expecting support from the government and other corporates. We are piloting a model which can be scaled up and replicated across the state,” Dr Ayyappan  said.

He also added that eighty “My City” volunteers will clean the boat club at Kowdiar and barren lands and foot paths.  The boat club at Kowdiar was a dumping centre for the disposal of wastes of the area.

Concillor Sathi Devi said she is extremely happy that the project is being implemented in her ward. Smt. Lalithambika J IAS said that in today’s scenario where waste management has become a menace, it was a much needed initiative. “It is really appreciable that a PSU is taking an initiative like this” she said.

Children are being actively encouraged to take part in the drive for spreading the message about waste management and sustainable practices.

Kowdiar ward, which comprises 2,000 households, covers an area of 2.5 sq km and a population of around 10,000. HLL has also been maintaining the Kowdiar Park, near Kowdiar Palace for the last 10 years.

The project will combine the best of existing waste management practices and technologies and implement them more effectively. The idea is to make Kowdiar a model ward for the rest of the city.

An estimated five tonnes of waste per day is generated in Kowdiar, which includes 3.5 tonnes/day of primary waste or bio-degradable garbage, one tonne of secondary waste such as plastics and paper, and 0.5 tonnes of tertiary waste like e-waste, glass, hardware items and wood waste. Plans are on hand to install shredding machines to process plastic waste and also to tie up with agencies for recycling e waste.

Running parallel to the solid waste management project will be waste reduction programme, including promoting the use of cloth/ paper bags, a help desk, a paid service and a team of monitoring personnel. Volunteers to support the project will be chosen from among students, retired people and housewives. The campaign and training will continue into the second year and HLL expects the system to run on its own with the support for stakeholders and the Corporation by the third year.

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