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Issue 27
, 2010
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Solid strategy for waste management

Source: Business Line, Date: , 2010

The Confederation of Indian Industry and the Andhra Pradesh Technology Development Corporation have come up with a strategy for solid waste management, perceived to be a major urban management issue needing funds and focus.

APTDC is a centre of excellence promoted by the CII, the State Government and TIFAC.

The new strategy seeks to outline some of the initiatives that the Government and civil society could take up to meet this challenge, which is likely to get bigger with each passing day. Apart from inculcating the need to address this issue at an early stage, it seeks to encourage private partnership in waste management, extending incentives and finances to private companies, including those that seek to generate power from solid waste.

Though this is a framework aimed at providing inputs for policy for the State of Andhra Pradesh, which has been taken up as first project, the CII task force headed by Mr Amit Gossain of JCB India believes that this could form the basis for other States to follow. The panel of CII task force includes Mr Sushil Jain, Advisor, Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, Mr MP Fernando, Director (Operations), Hyquip Technologies Ltd, Mr Vinay Maheshwari, Director, Environment & Waste Management, JBM group, and Mr T.C. Sreenath, General Manager (Projects), Jindal Urban Infrastructure Ltd.

Making it a scientific exercise

Mr Gossian told Business Line recently that solid waste generation, which is slated to go up to 0.65 kg by 2024 from current 0.40-0.45 kg, needs greater attention of Governments.

Waste management needs to become a lot more scientific, be it collection, its transport, processing as also recycling or disposal. Monitoring and disposal of waste through landfills needs to be closely monitored as they also contain biomedical wastes and other toxic wastes too, he said.

The Central and State Governments realise the importance of the municipal solid waste (MSW), which is indicated through higher allocation of funds to the urban schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in the recently concluded Budget. But, significantly, this needs a long-term perspective. The task force believes that increase in land for handling waste, improving waste-gathering techniques, scientific waste separation and a proper plan for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes is required to be adopted by urban bodies.

With regard to Delhi, the task force observed that it has the highest per capita spending on solid waste management (SWM) at Rs 431, and also the highest manpower deployment at 3.5 per 1,000 population. It clearly demonstrates that the Delhi Government is willing to spend and understands the importance of SWM. Other Governments will also likely follow suit.

The CII team believes that there is huge potential for private sector participation in treatment and disposal activities, which has so far not been not tapped adequately due to contractual and technological constraints.

Door-to-door waste collection, street sweeping and transportation of waste have so far been the most common activities that have been privatised. Majority of the cities with over one million population have private sector participation in waste management. Some cities have pilot power plants that use solid waste as fuel. Waste to power is seen as most productive among alternatives for its management.

In other suggestions, the panel favours Urban Local Bodies to consider fee-based concept and penalties for the private partners in case of delay and deficiencies.

Since this is a major area of focus, the panel also favours measures like capital subsidy for private companies, soft infrastructure loans, income-tax relief and excise relief on equipment. It also is in favour of technology transfer meets and seminars for exchange of knowhow.

For the local bodies to pass on benefits, it could use the revenue source from SWM activities like user charges from residents, hotels and marriage halls, and possibly consider waste management tax and bulk garbage collection charge.