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Delhi lags way behind in waste disposal

Staff Reporter

Capital generates about 6,000 tonnes of solid waste daily, reveals study

NEW DELHI: While Delhi steals a march over all other metropolitan cities across the country in generating municipal waste, it lags far behind in waste disposal and recycling, according to a new study on "Solid waste management and its disposal" conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The study reveals that Delhi is able to dispose of and recycle only 62 per cent of its solid waste as against Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, where the figure stands at 86 per cent, 85 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively. Kolkata has been cited as an exception in removing its municipal waste to the extent of 90 per cent, making it a city of people with a "much better civic sense", reveals the ASSOCHAM study.

According to the study, Delhi generates about 6,000 tonnes of solid waste daily as against 5,800 tonnes by Mumbai, 2,800 by Bangalore, 2,675 tonnes by Chennai and 4,000 tonnes by Kolkata.

The study refers to Kerala that has created a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to dispose of its solid waste for power generation by closely integrating its 60 municipalities with three intermediate depots to collect its garbage and waste to dispose it of in large containers.

"Similar models should be emulated by other cities to collect their solid waste which should be recycled for commercial use," says ASSOCHAM president Venugopal N. Dhoot, emphasising the need for a national waste policy.

Acknowledging the role of rag pickers in clearing solid waste, the study notes that in Delhi alone there are 85,000 of them and the total quantum of waste collected by the pickers is 900 tonnes a day, which is about 19 per cent of the total waste generated every day.

"The MCD spent about 2.4 billion rupees to manage garbage generated during the year. Thus rag pickers saved the municipal authorities more than 250 million rupees," the study says.

Hazardous

It points out that urban residents generate 350 gm to 1,000 gm of solid waste every day and with the increase in population and rising income, urban India is becoming a "throwaway society".

"The waste in bigger cities is generally paper, plastics, metal and hazardous materials apart from vegetables wastes. Bio-degradable households waste has far less impact than the waste generated by activities like manufacturing of goods," the study notes.

"The present annual solid waste generated in Indian cities has increased from 48 million tones in 1997 to 95 million tonnes, which might exceed 150 million tonnes over the next seven years," says Mr. Dhoot.

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