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Kerala’s plan to address menace of construction and demolition waste

- August 7, 2022

Dileep V Kumar, Thiruvananthapuram, August 7 

Now, haphazard dumping of construction and demolition (C&D) waste in Kerala will cost dearly. For, the guidelines for managing C&D waste in the state stipulate a fine which may extend to Rs 2 lakh or punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years. 

The guidelines released by the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) not only touch on managing C&D waste but also mandates adequate waste processing facilities including its recycling. The government also has plans to make use of recycled C&D waste in various construction activities in the state.

“The state is witnessing rapid urbanization. Against this backdrop, many new buildings are coming up. Either it’s new or it will be coming up afresh after demolishing the old one. This generates a significant amount of C&D waste. It has been observed that a majority of the waste thus generated is being used for ground leveling or to fill up water bodies and wetlands around urban centers. This led to severe environmental issues,” said Sarada Muraleedharan, additional chief secretary, LSGD.

According to her, it’s for standardizing the regulating the management of C&D waste in all local bodies in the state that a guideline has been released. She also added that recycling and use of recycled C&D waste will also be made mandatory in the state.

As per the guidelines, released by the LSGD, a local body should first start a C7D waste collection center. Then it should ensure proper transportation of the waste and processing facility. A standard operating procedure for the same will also be shared with all local bodies. It has been stipulated that the generator of C&D waste should have to pay an amount while handing over the waste. However, a non-bulk generator of a small quantity of C&D waste for one time up to two tonnes has been exempted from it.

According to LSGD officials, one of the significant points in the guideline is to make use of recycled C&D waste mandatory. For the same, certain construction activities have been asked to use a specified percentage (20 percent) of available building construction materials manufactured from recycled C&D waste.

The said construction activities include, all government constructions and all renovation projects involving demolition, even in the private sector, shall mandatorily use recycled products.

Some of the recycled products being planned include tetrapods (for coastal protection), bricks, blocks, tiles, hollow bricks, park benches, drain covers, manhole covers, compound wall, and others.