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Bhopal Municipal Corporation’s Innovative Ways To Reuse Ritual Items This Festival Season

Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is using bamboo sticks used in statues of deities, that are otherwise immersed in water bodies, to make tree guards. Coconut husks are being gathered from temple grounds and used to create a variety of reusable items. Used cooking oil is also being collected from various sources and processed for making biodiesel. A report by Sonali Verma
Indian Masterminds Stories

Ever since the festival month started, there has been a significant amount of pollution in the water bodies as a result of rituals like statue immersion or visarjan. To address this issue, Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has developed an innovative concept to make use of the bamboo sticks used to build the statues of the deities, that are otherwise drowned in the rivers, as tree guards, and are also distributing these free of cost to anyone in the community who requires the sticks for the same purpose.

In addition to this, coconut husks are being gathered from several temple grounds to create a variety of reusable products. Similarly, used cooking oil is being collected from various sources and processed for making biodiesel.

All this and more are being done under the BMC’s initiative to reduce waste by recycling it to make it usable. In an interaction with Indian Masterminds, BMC Commissioner, KVS Choudhary, IAS, gave more details about the initiative.

Bhopal Municipal Corporation Commissioner KVS Choudhary

4R PROJECT

Mr. Choudhary said that the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is attempting innovative methods, and the fundamental challenge is to proactively identify waste that is regularly produced and dispose it off by recycling it, making it ideal for reuse.

“With this objective, the BMC launched the 4R project which stands for reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover waste, to maintain a high standard of cleanliness,” he said. 

Under this initiative, various aspects were covered, like reuse of bamboo used in the statues of deities, manufacturing biodiesel from used oil, making products from coconut husks collected from temples, etc.

GAU KASHT

The ‘Gau Kasht’ initiative is another notable one, whereby, logs are made using cow dung which can be used for cremation or can be used in festivals like Holi and Lohri. It can also be used for industrial purposes.

Gau Kasht logs

In another initiative, the industrial waste of thermocol, which is used for packaging, is made reusable with the help of an installed plant that converts the thermocol back into its raw state, which can be used for packaging again.

DULARI KITS

For improved dissemination and use of the 4R theory, and to modify it for zero wastage and supplying goods for the needy, BMC enlisted the help of many organizations interested in social work and recycling waste to reuse it.

One such organization is the Mannat Social Welfare Organization which provides ‘Dulari Kits’. “It is a complete kit for newborns and their mothers made from used clothes. These kits are directly rendered to the government hospitals, making them easily available for needy women,” Mr. Choudhary explained.

AWARENESS PROGRAMMES

To make the local people aware of the 4R innovation project and to encourage participation in this cause, radio, print, electronic, and other media are being actively used by the BMC.

“BMC is well-equipped with resources, and as Bhopal is not a metropolitan area, it is simple to communicate with the public and raise awareness of the issue,” Mr. Choudhary said.

BMC employs the technique of on-vehicle announcements to inform the local population. When necessary, they also engage in person-to-person awareness campaigns, which entails going directly to the target audience, such as visiting a temple and requesting for coconut husks.

“Apart from this, if someone wants to contribute to this cause, there is a social media platform for them through which they can reach out to BMC directly. We also have a helpline number 155304, through which people can file complains or share their issues with BMC,” Mr. Choudhary said.

There is also an application called ‘Bhopal First’, which allows the citizens to track issues and connect with the authority.


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