Skip to main content

India's failed model?: Urban Gujarat is poor performer in solid waste management

By Rajiv Shah
Despite big talk about Gujarat being a model state of urban development, latest figures, made available at a workshop organized by Paryavaran Mitra, an Ahmedabad-based environmental NGO, has said that just about 14.67 per cent of the solid waste collected in the state’s eight municipal corporations and 159 municipalities, is processed. This puts Gujarat way behind the national average of 27.94 per cent of the solid waste being processed, with seven out of 20 selected states performing better.
Revealed during a presentation by Shailendrasinh Jadeja of Seva Foundation Trust, Rajkot, in the presence of senior experts, consultants and a Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) official, the figures suggest that there has been slight improvement of less than two per cent since 2010, when 12.94 per cent of the solid waste was being processed. However, the progress vis-à-vis the all-India average was dismal – in 2010, 17.78 per cent of the solid waste was being processed, suggesting an improvement of 10 per cent in the country as a whole up to 2014.
A child amidst solid waste thrown around in an open field in Rajkot
Jadeja’s presentation, titled “Scenario on Municipal Solid Waste Management”, said that, in Gujarat, 9,277 tonnes of municipal waste was generated every day in 2014. And, if official Government of India figures – on the basis of which Jadeja has maked his calculations – are any guide, all of it was collected. Of this, 1,354 tonnes of solid waste was processed. In 2010, 7,379 tonnes was generated, 6744 tonnes was collected, and 873 tonnes was processed. However, he indicated, the figures do not tell the full story, and there appears to something amiss.
Thus, Jadeja’s presentation said that of the eight municipal corporations, in 2014, three did not have any functional compost plants, and four did not have any landfill sites. Things were found to be worse in 159 municipalities, where 66 of them did not have any compost plant, and 106 did not have any landfill sites. Further, three municipal corporations out of eight (Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh) and 125 municipalities never filled up necessary monthly details of how much of solid waste was being generated, collected and processed.
A woman atop a landfill site in Rajkot
Talking to Counterview, Paryavaran Mitra’s Mahesh Pandya said, the workshop was held against the backdrop of the national consultations currently being held on finalizing rules on hazardous waste, e-waste, solid waste, plastic waste and biomedical waste. “This is being done by keeping at pay the country’s senior environmental experts”, he added. While the consultations have already taken place in Delhi (May 1) and Mumbai (May 8), they are scheduled for May 22 in Bangaluru and May 23 in Kolkata. Only industry representatives and consultants have been invited.
“If ignoring environmentalists was one reason why we held the workshop, another reason was, Gujarat a highly industrial state, as very level of pollution levels and poor environmental management. The consultations should have take place in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar, but this has not happened”, Pandya said, adding, “This is one reason why we decided to hold the workshop and prepare a list of recommendations to be sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for consideration.”
An important point raised at the workshop was that the rural areas have been completely kept out of solid waste management draft rules despite the fact that they also generate all types of waste – degradable as well as non-degradable. It was suggested, the Government of India should work out a proper authority which should monitor solid waste management. The participants also raised concern over the fact that there has been a steady downward slide in the amount of waste that is being generated, despite official “efforts” to the contrary.

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.