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Think small: on Ganga rejunuvation

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Decentralised sludge management systems are vital to achieve clean water goals
Bad sanitation(स्वच्छता/सफ़ाई) is India’s worst-kept secret, but recent data from Uttar Pradesh show that in spite(बावजूद/विरोध) of working in mission mode to expand(विस्तार/फैलाना) sanitation, 87% of faecal(मलीय) sludge(कीचड़) expelled(निष्कासित) from toilets in urban areas(शहरी क्षेत्रों) is untreated(इलाज नहीं किया/अनुपचारित). Viewed against the 2030 goal to achieve(हासिल करना/प्राप्त) clean water and sanitation for all under the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, this depressing(निराशाजनक/कष्टमय) statistic(सांख्यिकीय) shows how much work remains(बाकी है/अवशेष) to be done. State support for improved(बेहतर) housing and planned development has never been strong, and the National Urban Sanitation Policy of 2008 has not changed that significantly(काफी). At the national scale(स्तर/पैमाना), a United Nations report of 2015 estimates that 65,000 tonnes of untreated faeces is introduced into the environment in India annually(प्रतिवर्ष). The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promised a major(प्रमुख) shift(बदलाव), but it has focussed more on the basic requirement(आवश्यकता) ofhousehold(गृहस्थी/परिवार) and community toilets in rural and urban areas. The study in U.P. conducted(संचालित) by the Centre for Science and Environment has now exposed(खुलासा हुआ/उजागर) broken(टूटे हुए ) links, of faecal sludge and septage being collected from household tanks and simply discharged into drains, open land and wetlands(झीलों). The problem of the waste not being contained(सम्मिलित/निहित), collected without manual labour, transported and treated safely is becoming graver(गंभीर हो रहा है). It is now time for a new approach(दृष्टिकोण). This has to be decentralised(विकेन्द्रीकृत) and different from the strategy(कार्यनीति/रणनीति) being used to clean the Ganga, for which the NDA government announced an outlay of ₹20,000 crore in 2015. That strategy relies(निर्भर करता/भरोसा करना) on large sewage(गंदे नाले/मैला/वाहित मल)treatment plants for riverside cities and towns.

Immediate(तत्काल/निकटतम) investments in decentralised sludge management systems would bring twin benefits: of improving(सुधारना/उन्नति करना) the environment and reducing(कमी/छूट) the disease(बीमारी/पीड़ा) burden(बोझ) imposed by insanitary(अस्वच्छ/अनारोग्यकारी) conditions. It is welcome that the CSE study is being followed up with a mapping exercise on the flow of faecal waste streams in individual(व्यक्तिगत) cities. The results for Varanasi, Allahabad and Aligarh in particular should be revealing(खुलासा/प्रकट करना), since the collection efficiency(कार्यक्षमता/योग्यता) for sludge in these cities ranges from just 10% to 30%. One immediate intervention needed is the creation(निर्माण/निर्मिति) of an inter-departmental task force to identify land to build small treatment systems for sludge, and to provide easily accessible(सुलभ/प्रवेश के योग्य) solutions to houses that are currently discharging waste into open drains. The business of emptying faecal material(सामग्री) using tanker trucks needs to be professionalised and de-stigmatised(लांछित/निन्दित करना). It is untenable(अस्थिर/असमर्थनीय) that manual scavengers(सड़क का कूड़ा हटानेवाला/मेहतर) continue to be employed in violation(उल्लंघन/अपवित्रीकरण) of the law to clean septic tanks in some places, and caste factors play out in the recruitment of workers even in the mechanised operations. All aspects(पहलुओं) of the business of sanitation need reform if India is to meet Goal Number 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals with egalitarian(समानाधिकारवादी/समतावादी) policies. A large State such as Uttar Pradesh provides the opportunity to demonstrate commitment to policy. Success here can transform lives.


Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: cleanliness, hygiene, asepsis, disinfection, hygienics
Antonyms: dirtiness, filth

Synonyms: corrupt, disgusting, moldy, noxious, overripe, putrid
Antonyms: fresh, good, helpful, perfumed, pleasant

Synonyms: bleak, daunting, disheartening, dismal, dispiriting
Antonyms: bright, cheerful, comforting, encouraging, exhilarating

Synonyms: automatically, naturally, no doubt, undoubtedly, unquestionably
Antonyms: doubtfully, questionably, unnecessarily

5.Exposed(खुलासा हुआ/उजागर)
Synonyms: bare, defined, disclosed, discovered, naked
Antonyms: clothed, hidden, ambiguous, blocked, closed

Synonyms: accommodate, consist of, enclose, encompass, have
Antonyms: exclude, free, disbelieve, let go, release

7.Achieve(हासिल करना
Synonyms: accomplish, attain, bring about, carry out, complete
Antonyms: abandon, begin, commence, depart, destroy

8. Stigmatized(लांछित/निन्दित करना).
Synonyms: characterize, class, classify, defame, denounce
Antonyms: approve, commend, compliment, exalt, praise

9.Sewage(गंदे नाले/मैला/वाहित मल)
Synonyms: discharge, excess, excrement, garbage, junk
Antonyms: possessions, sense

10.Relies(निर्भर करता/भरोसा करना)
Synonyms: await, bank, bet, build, calculate
Antonyms: disbelieve, disregard, ignore, keep, straighten

Synonyms: access, path, way, accession, advance
Antonyms: departure, exit, distancing, leaving

12.Sewage(गंदे नाले/मैला/वाहित मल)
Synonyms: discharge, excess, excrement, garbage, junk
Antonyms: possessions, sense

Synonyms: abbreviating, compressing, condensing, contracting, contraction
Antonyms: enlargement, increase

Synonyms: Cancer, bug, condition, contamination, defect
Antonyms: advantage, good health, health, ability, blessing

15.Revealing(खुलासा/प्रकट करना)
Synonyms: acknowledge, admit, affirm, announce, concede
Antonyms: conceal, contradict, deny, disavow, dispute

Synonyms: illogical, unsound, flawed, unsupportable

Synonyms: ability, adaptability, capability, competence, energy
Antonyms: ability, adaptability, capability, competence, energy

18.Scavengers(सड़क का कूड़ा हटानेवाला/मेहतर)
Synonyms: hunter, scrounger, scrounge

Synonyms: democratic, equitable, even-handed, impartial, just




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