Technological solutions required for river and canal rejuvenation, plastic waste management and pollution

Soon, young talents in colleges and universities will get an opportunity to offer innovative solutions to the challenges faced in waste management and disposal across the State.

The government has okayed a proposal to hold a ‘Waste Hackathon’ aimed at finding district-level smart solutions to the mounting problems related to waste management as per the rules prescribed by the State and the Centre. The ideas pitched by the innovators will be incubated with the support of organisations like the Kerala Startup Mission. Some of the identified areas that require technological solutions include river and canal rejuvenation, plastic waste management, and pollution caused by solid and liquid waste.

“The plan for organising a hackathon was inspired by the success of the Canalpy project to revive the canals in Alappuzha town. It was an initiative by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) in association with the IIT, Mumbai,” said Joy Elamon, Director General, KILA.

“The proposed hackathon would be region-specific as the issues faced in each region will vary from the other. A collaboration of experts, innovators and other stakeholders will prove beneficial in identifying the problem and coming up with solutions based on technology tools,” he said.

The participants will carry out field visits ahead of the hackathon event to study the challenges faced in solid waste management and disposal and other pollution issues in each district. Initially, the focus will be on a core issue faced in a local body in each district. Expert consultations will be held at the district and state levels in the second round.

Teams will be formed ahead of the hackathon to coordinate the problem solving sessions. The hackathon is expected to run through a month as the teams will make various rounds of presentations at the district and State levels. The solutions will be prioritised in the third phase. KILA will facilitate the incubation of the ideas at the level of the local bodies. The possible product ideas will be incubated with the technological support of Kerala Startup Mission and State Youth Leadership Academy, as per the preliminary project proposal.

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