HAILAKANDI, Jan 24: In an extraordinary step, an Anganwadi Centre in Hailakandi district of Barak Valley is being constructed with used plastic bottles.
Around 14,000 plastic bottles will be used for construction of the centre at Singala village in the district. These bottles will be filled up with non-biodegradable waste, mud, sand etc. The cost of the 400 sq ft area construction has been estimated to be around Rs 3.46 lakh.
Official sources informed that the district administration, UNDP, the state education, social welfare and PWD departments are part of the project. Liquid cement will be used to reinforce the ‘eco-bricks’, the plastic bricks stuffed with waste. The rooms of the earthquake-resilient structure will be ventilated by making holes in the eco-bricks as per the norms of disaster management guidelines.
Construction work is going on in this No. 163 Anganwadi Centre under Lala Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). The centre is situated in the premises of Signals Lower Primary School, around 10 kms from Hailakandi.
This is the first such project in Barak Valley and is expected to be inaugurated within the next two months. Presently, Suptikona Das is working as worker and Janaki Nunia as helper in the centre. The general secretary of Hailakandi Worker and Helper Association, Madhumita Gupta expressed satisfaction for implementation of such a unique and innovative pilot project in a district like Hailakandi.
This unique venture was initiated by the then deputy commissioner of Hailakandi one year back when massive campaign against plastic was going on. This unique idea was initiated by Jalli, an Indian Administrative Service officer to recycle used plastic bottles and also to stop the misuse of plastic waste.
An official of the district administration said that the idea was borrowed from Karnataka where a non-governmental organisation first used the idea a couple of years back. The project was prepared with the help of an engineer of Hailakandi municipal office. A committee was also constituted for the project. The workers of the building were initially imparted training. One of the workers said that they are not habituated with this sort of work, particularly using waste plastic material. But now they can construct buildings with these items.
Before starting this project, a massive ‘Plastic Borjon Campaign’ was organised in Hailakandi to generate awareness about how to convert plastic bottles into eco-bricks.
Originating in Guatemala, the concept of eco-bricks is to turn waste into a robust and affordable building material that simultaneously tackles problems of unemployment, waste and lack of housing. Eco-bricks represent a different approach to waste management as plastic recycling is an energy-intensive, polluting business often involving long-distance transportation, said an expert.
The district administration of Hailakandi has already set up ‘plastic banks’ where citizens can deposit single-use plastic items, which could be turned into eco-bricks.