100 tonnes of Diwali banana stem fodder for elephants (Assam)
The Times of India
November 17, 2023
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has collected over 270 tonnes of
banana stems, which were used as stands for earthen lamps during Diwali,
from households and also those left unsold in city markets. Of the total
stems collected, over 100 tonnes have been sent to the city’s Garbhanga
Forest Reserve to be used as fodder for elephants.
Ahead of Diwali, the municipal corporation had appealed to city residents
and the vendors to responsibly dispose of the banana stems after the
festival to maintain cleanliness and celebrate a “Swachh Diwali”.
Talking to TOI, GMC assistant commissioner Suhel Yasir said the GMC picked
up 60 truckloads of banana stems, which weighs around 270 tonnes, before
and after Diwali. He added that sending the leftover stems to the reserve
forest has been a relief to the corporation.
“Around 25 truckloads of stems weighing over 100 tonnes were sent to the
Garbhanga Forest Reserve to feed the elephants there. It was one of the
best measures we could have taken to turn the ‘waste’ into something
useful. The corporation does not have any facility to convert such a huge
amount of waste into compost,” Yasir added.
However, the remaining 170 tonnes had to be disposed of as they were mixed
with other wastes, making them unsuitable to be used as fodder.
Meanwhile, the South Guwahati range officer, Birty Ingti Katharpi, who is
in charge of the Garbhanga Forest Reserve, appreciated the GMC’s move to
provide the leftover banana stems to the elephants.
“The GMC has done a commendable job. Although we have adequate resources to
feed elephants in the forest, we have accepted the fodder,” Katharpi said.
Yasir lauded the city residents for their effort in keeping the city clean.
“In previous years, the unsold and used banana stems used to create a dirty
environment in the city as the vendors used to leave them on the streets.
But this year, due to the combined effort of GMC cleaning staff and the
city residents, we have managed to maintain a clean environment in the
city,” Yasir said.