Dumping leaves and composting are not the same, but do SDMC workers know?
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Dumping leaves and composting are not the same, but do SDMC workers know?

The initiative is meant to manage horticulture waste and dry leaves. But without sufficient awareness at ground levels will the mission succeed? 

Dumping leaves and composting are not the same, but do SDMC workers know?

To manage horticulture waste and dry leaves, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has started making composting pits in parks under its jurisdiction. Work has begun in various parks across the sub-city.

Such pits will be constructed in all 325 parks in Dwarka to stop open burning of dry leaves, claim SDMC officials. Requesting anonymity, one of the officials said, “Dry leaves is a problem in the area and its burning is a source of environmental pollution. Our composting pits could be a possible answer to the persistent problem.”

Commenting on the development, AK Parashar, a resident of Sri Agrasen Apartments in Sector 7, and the founder of Mission Clean and Green Dwarka, said, “We had raised the issue repeatedly with both the SDMC and the DDA, but they had paid little attention to our appeals. Now, finally, I think the SDMC has decided to step in. It is not known how many parks have been taken up by SDMC for the composting exercise and when the process will be completed. We request the SDMC and horticulture department to involve NGOs working in this domain.”

However, just constructing composting pits would not be enough to tackle the issue, feel residents.

“There has to proper monitoring. There are already a few parks with composting pits, but nobody takes care to use them. In fact, many a times, we have seen fire being set to these pits!” opined NK Sahrma, a resident of Sector 6.

V Selvarajan, general secretary of Green Circle, an NGO working on environment in Dwarka, says unless awareness is generated around the process, the initiative has little chance of succeeding.

He said, “The SDMC workers just dig up pits in the parks and push down all the dry leaves. I guess neither the labourers nor supervisors have any basic knowledge of composting. Mixing non-biodegradable waste like polythene will impede the formation of compost. Moreover, if no cow dung is added in the pits, it will just be dumping and not composting. How does SDMC plan to rotate the layers? If not, how can we expect organic compost? I wish SDMC makes its action plan more clear and also brings it in the public domain — what sort of composting is it planning, and other questions need to be scrutinised.”