Several employees of the Secretariat in Kerala’s capital seem to have found a solution to the perennial waste management issue Thiruvananthapuram has been facing.
The solution, however, did not amuse the General Administration Department (GAD) after instances of garbage mysteriously appearing at even unexpected places in the Secretariat became frequent.
The GAD has now issued a circular to the employees against bringing garbage — food and plastic waste and even sanitary napkins — to work. It also warned of disciplinary action against those dumping domestic waste at the Secretariat.
The gravity of the issue could be gauged by the GAD’s directive to the housekeeping staff to keep all waste bins under CCTV camera surveillance. The housekeepers were also instructed to lock all vacant shelves to avoid shocking waste materials popping up in them.
The GAD has also mooted the Secretariat employees to replace disposable lunchboxes and plastic water bottles with reusable ones. Additionally, taking account of the mosquito menace, the department also prohibited employees from keeping decorative plants in water-filled bottles.
The GAD found that most bottles were not refilled.
Many officials said they were compelled to carry waste to the offices in the absence of a solid mechanism to collect waste from their residences.
They added that the poor state of affairs in the Secretariat reflected the inefficiency of the government in managing waste. Now, the housekeeping staff, though less in number, will have to shoulder the burden.
The Secretariat has more than 5,000 employees. If a significant number of employees bring garbage to work, it would quite be a waste at the Secretariat.