NS Ramakanth: ‘Organic waste-handling should be part of everyone’s duty’

Solid waste administration professional NS Ramakanth holds World Environment Day (June 5) near his coronary heart. The 82-year-old completes 20 years of advising folks on the right way to deal with waste. “From advising segregation at source to pushing the civic authority, the government and bureaucrats towards finding a better managed garbage disposal system, I have tried my best,” says Ramakanth.

He feels the final twenty years of waste disposal in Bengaluru has been an evolving, experimental course of. “Wet waste has to be segregated onsite as composting not only reduces the load going to landfill, but aids in forming microbes that help biodiversity when used for plants. It also adds a rich source of nutrients to the soil,” says Ramakanth, the senior-most member of Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) in Bengaluru.

Petal energy

Ramakanth holds a BSc in Mining Engineering from the Banaras Hindu University (1963) and labored in Italian and German corporations earlier than taking voluntary retirement in 1989 to plunge into neighborhood and social work.

When Ramakanth realised temples generated quite a bit of moist waste, he advocated composting. “It might be flowers, mango and plantain leaves, tulsi garlands or cups made of leaves (donne) used to distribute prasada. Vasuki, an energetic member of SWMRT and soil mechanics professional helped Kalyan Nagar Mahaganapathi temple compost all their waste, which generated 1.5 tonnes of compost in a single 12 months. A health care provider, who owns a farm within the outskirts, purchased the complete lot. Nearly 60 temples in and round Bengaluru and Mysuru comply with this methodology. The compost is bought for a nominal charge, which works into working the temple.”

Default setting

Ramakanth conducts primary rubbish segregation and compost consciousness workshops giving particulars of the completely different varieties of dry waste that may be despatched for recycling. “Composting and recycling helps as only 10 % garbage reaches the landfill. With Bengaluru currently producing 5,757 tonnes of garbage per day, organic waste-handling should be part of everyone’s duty.”

The Republic Day flower present at Lalbagh this 12 months additionally benefitted from Ramakanth’s recommendation. The 240-acre Lalbagh Botanical Gardens has greater than 17,000 climbers, creepers, shrubs and bushes other than potted crops. “Can you imagine the volume of dry leaves and flowers? During the flower show, it is much more. We installed nine composters for the dry leaves and flowers, and within three months there are tonnes of compost, which is used in Lalbagh itself. Cubbon Park too has installed these composters and both the green spaces are now zero-garbage generating zones. I wish every park in Karnataka follows these composting practices.”

Lake-side story

Sankey Tank didn’t escape Ramakanth’s eagle eye and he relentlessly crusaded for it to be cleaned. While cleansing the tank after Ganesha pageant, it was discovered that 1,28,620 idols have been immersed over 11 days. “We realised that new laws for immersion have to be formed. Immersion with flowers was not allowed from 2016 onwards and PoP idols were also banned. We should celebrate festivals sensibly. I want to persuade people to immerse idols after pooja in their own neighbourhoods. My dream is to see waste dealt in Bengaluru with more respect.”

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