Lakhimpur Municipal Board clears 40 years legacy waste in 9 months, MLA Manab Deka leads the effort

Lakhimpur - MLA Manab Deka
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In 1982, the North Lakhimpur Municipal Board (NLMB) started dumping garbage in Pub-Chandmari, on a large plot of land adjacent to the Sumdiri river. The arrangement was meant to be temporary and no one actually thought that the temporary dumpyard would soon transform into mountains of garbage someday, taking over about 4 hectares of land and even encroaching the river.

Local residents reminisces about their memories of fishing in the Sumdiri river before it became a dumping yard. However, with the dumping year, slowly began encroachment in adjoining areas, specially for illegal activities like selling illicit liquor, drugs, stealing, robbery, and other anti-social activities.

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In December 2021, the Lakhimpur district administration, led bit its MLA, Manab Deka, decided to take up the task of clearing 40 years of legacy waste from the site, which amounted to about 79,000 metric tonnes (Mt).

MLA Manab Deka and Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Sumit Sattawan started the cleaning process and floated an e-tender. The job was allotted to a local company and despite the seven months monsoon rains, the waste was cleared within nine months, by March 2023.

Taking to Twitter (now X), Lakhimpur MLA Manab Deka said “With the right work-spirit and determination, everything is possible. As an experimental activity, with extensive planning and effort, North Lakhimpur Municipality tried mustard plantation for the first time in the 14 bigha land that has been a dumping ground since years.”

As pert of the waste treatment, three components were derived from the garbage – the plastic waste was sent to Dalmia cement company in Meghalaya for using it as fuel, the second component was organic waste which was sold to farmers and locals at Rs 600 per tractor, and the last component is used by people for earth filling which people also buy at a reasonable price.

A massive 16 bigha of cleared land has now been transformed into a playground and also be used for organising meetings and cultural events. Another 14 bigha has become a lush golden mustard field.

This achievement not only transformed the once-polluted Sumdiri river but also addressed issues of encroachment and illegal activities associated with the dumping ground. The techniques used for waste treatment had a positive impact on the local community and the surrounding environment.

With inputs from Mongabay India

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