Solid Waste Management in the Karez Area in Bidar (Karnataka)

Completed in 2021

To prevent the unscrupulous disposal and subsequent accumulation of wastes in the Karez wells, tunnel, and street corners, the solid waste management programme in the habitations along the Karez in Naubad, Bidar, Karnataka, began in January, 2018. It was initiated by Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF) India in collaboration with Saahas, and with funding support from Nestle India Pvt. Ltd.. A three-wheeled electric vehicle goes door-to-door, collecting wastes from 650 houses and 105 businesses after which they are sorted and disposed of scientifically, ensuring that absolutely no wastes end up in the landfill. This project has introduced a radical shift in how garbage is dealt with in Bidar, a town of a quarter of a million people.

The key issues seen in the area around the Karez, leading to pollution of the waters, were:

  • No waste collection system. Waste was either thrown on the streets or burnt in open.
  • Drains were clogged with waste, mostly plastic waste.
  • Lack of collection mechanism drove a behavioural tendency to dump garbage at black spots.
  • There was no awareness among the residents about the ill-effects of burning or dumping waste.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Bring about behavioural change to inculcate practices of source segregation and anti-littering
    among residents.
  • Spread awareness about pollution caused by burning and dumping of plastic/other waste.
  • Facilitate door-to-door collection of waste, wet waste and dry waste weekly using an electric
  • Setup infrastructure for wet waste composting and dry waste sorting.
  • Ensure the non-recyclable low-grade waste is sent to cement factories for incineration as fuel.
Program Impact Area

Houses and establishments 200m on both sides of the entire stretch of the Karez.

Houses: 650 (Lumbini Nagar, Buddha Colony, Siddeshawara Colony, Raghavendra Colony, Khadri
Nagar, KIADB)
Schools and Colleges: 7
Shops: 105
Sunday Market: 1

The serves as a model for the DHF’s vision for Heritage Conservation. Mere restoration of a monument is an insufficient attempt to preserve it for the generations to come. Ensuring a social impact, in this case the supply of water to the parched locality by rejuvenating a historical source and by implementing a solid waste management mechanism in the area, and, thereby, facilitating community participation in the project itself, creates a sense of custodianship in the locals towards the monument. 

Waste collection, being an essential service, continued even during the Covid lock-downs of 2020 and 2021. The Conservation of the Karez in Naubad, Bidar, continues unceasingly.

To get to know more about this project, watch the video below.