Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister for Climate & Environment, Norway visited Waste Management project at Navjiwan Vihar, Delhi in India

India and Norway have over almost 15 years developed a close cooperation on environmental matters. In 2006, the Norwegian-Indian Cooperation Commission was established, in order for the two countries to share experiences on environmental management.  In the recently concluded India visit of Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn was focused on the agenda; cooperation to reduce plastic litter worldwide, reduce climate gas emissions and securing global biodiversity. During the Pre-COP, CMS COP13, India and Norway signed an agreement to work together on various aspects including reducing the emissions of HFCs, climate, biodiversity and marine littering and plastic pollution.

Sanjaya K. Mishra
India and Norway have over almost 15 years developed a close cooperation on environmental matters. In 2006, the Norwegian-Indian Cooperation Commission was established, in order for the two countries to share experiences on environmental management.  In the recently concluded India visit of Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn was focused on the agenda; cooperation to reduce plastic litter worldwide, reduce climate gas emissions and securing global biodiversity. During the Pre-COP, CMS COP13, India and Norway signed an agreement to work together on various aspects including reducing the emissions of HFCs, climate, biodiversity and marine littering and plastic pollution.
In a significant move, on 19th February 2020, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister for Climate and Environment of Norway visited Navjiwan Vihar with a delegation. Navjiwan Vihas, a South Delhi posh colony, has inspired many leaders with its consistent working and achievements in beating plastic pollution, 100% waste segregation, elimination of single-use plastic.  Mr. Rotevatn and his delegation, including Ms. Kaia Bilton, Minister Councilor; Ms. Nina Rør, Deputy Director General; Mr. Stig Ingemar Traavik, Special Envoy for Climate and Forest and many other Norwegian dignitaries were given a warm traditional welcome with Tilak, Aarti and flower shower by the children and residents of Navjiwan Vihar. Children also carried Indian and Norwegian flags to greet the visiting leader.
The visiting Minister, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn and his delegation took a tour of the colony, including dhalao, parks with leaf composters, and “Black Gold”, compost generated in the compost pits. They also witnessed garbage collecting carts and interacted with the residents, garbage collectors, domestic helps and children. He also witnessed our parks herbal patches, kitchen garden and blooming flowers.
 
Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary of Navjiwan RWA briefed the visiting Minister about various social and environmental initiatives taken by the RWA, such as; Shramdaan (neighbourhood cleanliness drive); Sanskaar (Value based group for children); Navjeevan Navodaya (Senior citizen care program); Upcycling of bags; Crockery Bank and Say No to Disposables; Drives against Single use plastic; Free Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins for domestic helps; Biomedical Waste program; Jantantra Mahotsav etc.
Some residents’ houses were also visited for understanding of waste generation, management at source and the process was recorded. The residents were interviewed by the visitors.  A Senior Journalist from Norwegian Broadcast Corporation officially covered the entire event.
 
Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn and his delegation also discussed how Navjiwan Vihar model can be replicated in other colonies in Delhi.
Mr. Madhusudan Hanumappa of ITC WOW ESREE Team Delhi, who has been an integral part of the entire waste management process said that the details are very specific for all to understand the importance of waste management and community engagement. He added, “It is further to emphasize that they are sensitive to the fact that we as a community are contributing to improving the environment, and enabling more livable cities. This is an inspiration and motivation to the team’s working on this. Three cheers to the entire residents and the office bearers of Navjiwan Vihar, the SDMC, the SSIL, the other utilities and the foot soldiers of the ITC Team. I am privileged to be part of this group of like minded, positive and ever striving members with the undying spirit, zeal and passion. Let us not only cheer them for the achievements, but also strength their hands by adopting the similar initiatives across Delhi and this movement should now scale up to the extent where Delhi and it’s RWAs should host the Minister of Environment all visiting countries where we share the same concerns for the environment to visit and see how transformation can and is doable if the community comes together. Together we can and we will.”
 
Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary, Navjiwan RWA said, “It was an honour to have His Excellency, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn – Hon’ble Minister for Climate and Environment, Norway and his delegates in our colony, Navjiwan Vihar. We are delighted for being chosen as a model colony for this project visit. I would like to emphasize that the program was organised by CSE where in the awareness programs and the community engagement was carried on Segregation of Waste at Source is being carried out by ESREE Foundation as part of the ITC CSR initiative under the Well Being out of Waste (WOW) program in Delhi. We are grateful to CSE, E Sree Foundation, ITC WOW. Thanks to Crockery Bank, we did not use even a single disposable in the small tea party saving almost 400 of them. Navjiwan Vihar is achieving greater heights under the dynamic leadership of our President Mr. Vinay Bhasin, and ably supported by the best Executive Committee members.”
Mr. Ramesh Verma, Addl. Commissioner, SDMC; Mr. Sudhir Mehta, SE DEMS; Mr. Prabhakar, , Executive Engineer, DEMS; and their other team members, representatives from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE); members of ITC WOW and E Sree Foundation were also present during the programme.
The visiting Minister appreciated the clean, green and serene neighbourhood of Navjiwan Vihar. “I am very impressed with India’s efforts to beat plastic pollution. Norway thinks that we need a global agreement dedicated to stopping marine plastics litter and micro plastics, and we invite India to participate in the global process to develop a stronger response to this urgent problem”, says Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn.
 
Mr. Vinay Bhasin, President of Navjiwan RWA said that “We are gratified for the visit of Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn with his delegation. This is a huge recognition to all the good works done by Navjiwan Family. Words of praise and encouragement from the visiting Minister and his delegation has brought in enormous boost to our energy levels and will help us to continue working with greater enthusiasm.”
 
After an hour of tour and interactions, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn walked down to Metro Station with the delegation and took the metro ride to his next destination.

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SDMC South Zone working in full swing for A Swachh Delhi

Sanjaya K. Mishra

21st December 2019, New Delhi

A program was held yesterday at SDMC, South Zone office, Green Park, in which, the winners of Swachh Survekshan 2020 second quarter winners in various categories were felicitated. First, Second and Third prize winners from Residents Welfare Associations, schools, hotels, hospitals, Market Traders Association, Government offices were awarded certificates by the Deputy Commissioner, SDMC, South Zone, Mr. Aman Gupta, and chairperson, SDMC, South Zone, Mrs. Tulsi Joshi. Senior officials from SDMC like Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Harish Kashyap and Deputy Health Officer, Dr. (Capt.) N. R. Tuli was also present.

Mrs. Joshi appreciated the efforts put in by these associations and requested them to spread their work far and wide. She also requested everyone to gear up and fight against the single-use plastic menace.

Mr. Aman Gupta, who has very recently taken the charge at South Zone, assured them of full support from SDMC.

Mr. Harish Kashyap, Asst. Commissioner and his team has been working relentlessly, even for prolonged hours beyond office time, on waste segregation, management, and against single-use plastic (SUP), and spreading knowledge, awareness of the health hazards of SUP among the residents.

The awardees shared their initiatives that made a significant difference in their respective areas. Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary, Navjiwan RWA and an ophthalmologist by profession who bagged the first award in the RWA category shared some path breaking initiatives by Navjiwan RWA. This RWA has not been using any disposables for its events for the last one year and has saved more than 15000 disposables in the last one year. Navjiwan Vihar has attained 100% waste segregation at source and has its own composting pits that take care of the entire wet waste in the colony that generates “Black Gold”. The residents of Navjiwan Vihar have worked significantly towards controlling single-use plastic and they upcycle the old bedsheets to make cloth bags.

Hyatt Regency Hotel received the first award in Hotel Category for its tremendous efforts in cutting down SUP bottled water and ensuring high levels of cleanliness in their hotel.

IGL was awarded the second prize in the Government Office category. They stressed the training and welfare of the staff.

Office of Deputy Commissioner, SDMC, South Zone was also awarded the third prize in the category of government office. Mr. Kashyap described the latest initiatives in which SDMC will be setting up 10 centres at various locations in South Zone. At these centres equivalent weight of compost will be given to citizens who will bring wet waste. Used bedsheets and curtains will be collected at these centres and cloth bags will be stitched and returned to the citizens totally free of cost. SDMC, South Zone will also be setting up “Neki ki Deewar” at various locations in South Zone where citizens can donate their used clothes. These clothes can then be picked up by the lesser privileged class of people.

Swachh Survekshan is a very welcome step that has been appreciated by all quarters. Such initiatives serve as a huge motivation to various sectors that are working towards saving the environment and making Delhi a Swachh place.

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Swawlamban & Navjiwan push ‘Say No to Plastic’

Pushing further the ‘Say no to plastic‘ drive, NGO Swawlamban in association with Navjiwan RWA organized a transformational event in which 800 to 900 high-quality jute bags were distributed in Navjeevan Vihar. This exemplary effort, with able support extended by Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Mrs. Meenakshi Lekhi is expected to inspire many in Delhi and other parts of the nation to work on the line of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s efforts and to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’- including an ambitious pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022. The dynamic MP of New Delhi constituency, Mrs. Lekhi has been very actively working on waste management with special focus on plastic waste. Her work on floral waste management was earlier very well appreciated by many within and beyond her constituency. Recently, her initiatives such as the installation of bottle crushing machines at strategic locations and Zero Waste to Landfill by involving Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) are notable.

The program was sponsored by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) through Swawlamban. Ms. Smriti Gupta and Mr. Sundeep Chadha represented the NGO and Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary, Navjiwan RWA spearheaded the entire event. The event was held in the DDA market in the Navjiwan Vihar in the presence of huge number of children and residents of the place. Main beneficiaries were the labourers from construction sites, guards, maids, drivers and people from the nearby lesser privileged clusters, who know and value these bags. ONGC has taken the initiative against single-use plastic.

It would be noteworthy that according to a study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) it is estimated that around 25,940 Ton/day of plastic waste is generated in India. The Government of India has notified Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. As per the Rules, the generators of waste have been mandated to take steps to minimize the generation of plastic waste, not to litter the plastic waste, ensure segregated storage of waste at source and handover segregated waste to local bodies or agencies authorized by the local bodies. The rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers and street vendors to manage plastic waste.

On this occasion, an appeal was made out to people to celebrate Diwali, the festival of prosperity as a Green Diwali and adhere to the norms stated by Authorities in order to control air and noise pollution.

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Bottle Crushing Machines To Reduce Plastic Load In New Delhi

In response to the appeal by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi, the most active and environment conscious leader, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, recently inaugurated five plastic bottle crushing machines in New Delhi. These machines have been installed in five markets – M block, Greater Kailash- 1, M Block, Greater Kailash – 2, Malviya Nagar, R K Puram and C R Park. The sites were carefully chosen and Mrs. Lekhi put in her best efforts in getting these machines installed. This step will be remarkable to reduce the load of single-use plastic. These machines were installed by NGO Karamsakshi. Mrs. Smriti Gupta, General Secretary, Karamsakshi applauded Mrs. Lekhi for her consistent support and involvement in the cause of conserving the environment. Mr. Rajesh Verma, a social worker was instrumental in getting the machine installed in the Malviya Nagar market.

It is noteworthy to remember Mrs. Lekhi’s iconic work to manage floral wastes during her last term as Member of Parliament, when she had given 10 composting machines to temples and Gurudwaras. The New Delhi MP’s passionate involvement in this term seems to be focused on plastic segregation and its management, which is the crying need for environment conservation. Her able leadership in waste management has been very encouraging and is being highly appreciated by the people of her constituency and beyond.

In her powerful speech, she emphasized the need for controlling the menace of single-use plastic. She requested the Residents Welfare Associations and Market Traders Association to work towards generating awareness and helping the government to reduce the load of single-use plastic.

While addressing the overwhelming gathering in the inauguration programme, Mrs. Lekhi cited the example of Navjiwan Vihar and complimented Dr. Ruby Makhija, the General Secretary, Navjiwan RWA for her significant contributions towards achieving great success in controlling single-use plastic, waste segregation at source and stop littering in Navjeevan Vihar. She said that Navjiwan RWA’s work towards saving our environment is an inspiration for others to follow.

She expressed her gratitude to Ms. Smriti Gupta for working selflessly for the welfare of the community and remarked that Mrs. Gupta’s support has been vital to Environment related initiatives.

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