Kerala to hold Haritha Sabhas on Environment Day to evaluate ‘no waste’ campaign

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Thiruvananthapuram: As part of the World Environment Day celebrations on June 5, the Kerala government is holding Haritha Sabhas (green assemblies) across the state to evaluate the outcome of the ‘State with No Waste’ campaign held from March 15 to June 1, and to lay down the road map for the future.

The Haritha Sabhas, one of India’s largest awareness campaigns, will be held with the active participation of the Local Self Government (LSG) Institutions, the LSG department said.

“This is for the first time a state in the country is observing the World Environment Day for assessing waste disposal measures taken by all the LSGIs along with spreading its message,” the LSGD said in a release.

The campaign, planned to be implemented in three phases, was aimed at making all the LSGIs in the state garbage-free by 2024, it said. The Haritha Sabhas will also create a platform for educating citizens about the importance of waste management in society.

The Haritha Sabhas are massive exercises planned, expecting a total attendance of over 1,50,000 people in 941 grama panchayats, besides 25,000 to be hosted by the municipalities and city corporations.

“Haritha Sabhas will have participants from the entire spectrum of society including trade organisations, health and hygiene workers, resident associations, Asha workers, NSS volunteers, NCC cadets, members of civil society organisations and civic awareness activists. The broad outline of the second phase of the campaign will be declared in the Haritha Sabhas,” the release said.

The state’s solid waste disposal project is being implemented by ensuring public participation, and 23 enforcement teams appointed by the government have conducted inspections in all LSGIs, it said, adding that out of 8,981 inspections conducted, 3,270 violations had been found and notices issued in 2,727 cases till May 2023.

“About Rs 1,02,44,650 (1.02 crore) had been imposed as fine in cases of improper waste management and Rs 14.25 lakh had already been collected. Around 105 tonnes of banned disposable plastic has been seized,” it said.

As part of the campaign, two lakh Ayalkkoottam groups cleaned up around 44,415 water bodies and visited about 70 lakh houses to create awareness, besides conducting clean-up drives in more than 10,000 public spaces. They also organised awareness programmes on Waste-Free Day on April 30.

(With PTI inputs.)

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