Regional Conference on Environment in Gurugram (Hindi)

जस्टिस प्रीतम पाल द्वारा अपने संबोधन के दौरान किए गए आह्वान जिसमें उन्होंने अगले 30 दिन के बाद हरियाणा से गुजरने वाले सभी राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग, राज्यीय राजमार्ग तथा रेल पटरियों के साथ गंदगी नही दिखाई देगी, का आह्वान पूरे प्रदेशवासियों से किया था , का उल्लेख करते हुए आशा जताई कि हरियाणावासी इसे जरूर पूरा करेंगे।

Press Release

गुरूग्राम , 11 जनवरी। राष्ट्रीय हरित प्राधिकरण के अध्यक्ष जस्टिस (सेवानिवृत) आदर्श कुमार गोयल ने देश में ठोस व तरल कूड़ा निस्तारण के लिए सस्ते और सतत मॉडल विकसित करने की आवश्यकता है जिसमें आम नागरिकों, एनजीओ, संस्थाओं व सरकारी अधिकारियों सभी को शामिल किया जाए ।

उन्होंने कहा कि संविधान के अनुच्छेद 21 के तहत प्राप्त जीवन के अधिकार के अंतर्गत स्वच्छ पर्यावरण नागरिकों का मौलिक अधिकार है और राज्य इस अधिकार को प्रदान करना सुनिश्चित करे। जस्टिस गोयल ने राज्य से अपने अभिप्राय को स्पष्ट करते हुए कहा कि इसमें केवल सरकारी अधिकारी ही नही बल्कि हम सभी नागरिक आते हैं।  उन्होंने कहा कि कोई भी कार्य अकेले सरकार नही कर सकती, उसमें सभी नागरिकों के सहयोग की आवश्यकता होती है। प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी के सबका साथ सबका विकास नारे का उल्लेख करते हुए जस्टिस गोयल ने कहा कि यह केवल एक नारा नही है बल्कि हमारी संस्कृति का हिस्सा है। जस्टिस गोयल ने अपने संबोधन में कहा कि राज्य सरकारें सभी को साथ लेकर लोगों को पर्यावरण संरक्षण के लिए जागरूक करें और सरकार इसके लिए बेहतर नेतृत्व प्रदान करे।

वे आज गुरूग्राम में प्र्यावरण विषय पर आयोजित दो दिवसीय रीजनल कान्फ्रेंस के दूसरे दिन बतौर मुख्य अतिथि संबोधित कर रहे थे। इस दो दिवसीय कान्फ्रेंस में पाॅलिसी बनाने वालों से लेकर उसे लागू करने वाले दिल्ली, हरियाणा तथा उत्तर प्रदेश के अधिकारीगण व हितधारकों ने भाग लिया। एनजीटी की कई कमेटियों के सदस्य भी इस कान्फ्रेंस में शामिल हुए।

जस्टिस प्रीतम पाल द्वारा अपने संबोधन के दौरान किए गए आह्वान जिसमें उन्होंने अगले 30 दिन के बाद हरियाणा से गुजरने वाले सभी राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग, राज्यीय राजमार्ग तथा रेल पटरियों के साथ गंदगी नही दिखाई देगी, का आह्वान पूरे प्रदेशवासियों से किया था , का उल्लेख करते हुए आशा जताई कि हरियाणावासी इसे जरूर पूरा करेंगे। चूंकि यह कान्फ्रेंस गुरूग्राम में आयोजित हो रही है इसलिए प्र्यावरण संरक्षण और प्रदूषण कम करने की दिशा में गुरूग्राम तथा हरियाणा को मॉडल के रूप में बनकर उभरना चाहिए ताकि यह राज्य दूसरो के लिए अनुकरणीय बन सके। जस्टिस प्रीतमपाल ने अपने संबोधन में कहा था कि एक महीने के उपरांत जिस भी जिले में हाईवे तथा रेल पटरियों के साथ सफाई का सराहनीय कार्य पाया जाएगा उस जिले के अधिकारियों को सम्मानित करने की अनुशंसा की जाएगी।

जस्टिस गोयल नेे कहा कि 50 साल पहले किसी ने सोचा भी नहीं था कि पर्यावरण प्रदूषण हमारे लिए इतनी गंभीर समस्या हो जाएगी। हम नदी का पानी नहीं पी सकेंगे और साफ हवा में सांस नहीं ले सकेंगे। वर्ष 1972 में स्कॉटहोम कान्फ्रेंस में विश्व के कई देशों ने पहली बार इस विषय पर चिंता जाहिर की और कहा कि प्रकृति से जितना हम ले रहे हैं अगर हमने वापिस नहीं दिया तो हमारे लिए गंभीर संकट पैदा हो जाएगा। उन्होंने कहा कि लाखों ग्रहों में से सिर्फ पृथ्वी ही ऐसा गृह है जहां पर जीवन है। अगर हम प्रकृति से लेने और उसे वापिस लौटाने में संतुलन नहीं रखेंगे तो प्रलय आना तय है। अगर हमें दुनिया को बचाना है तो पर्यावरण को भी बचाना होगा। देश में बढ़ते प्रदूषण पर चिंता जाहिर करते हुए जस्टिस गोयल ने केन्द्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड द्वारा दिए गए आंकड़े प्रस्तुत करते हुए बताया कि देश की 351 नदियां, 122 शहर और 100 औद्योगिक क्षेत्र पूरी तरह से प्रदूषित हो चुके हैं। स्थिति ज्यादा गंभीर है और इसका समाधान करने की क्षमता भी हमारे पास है लेकिन हमें यह पता ही नही है कि हमें करना क्या है। उन्होंने कहा कि प्रदूषण और गंदगी का वैज्ञानिक ढंग से निस्तारण किया जा सकता है।

उन्होंने अत्यधिक भूजल दोहन रोकने और प्रयुक्त पानी का शोधन कर इसे पुनः प्रयोग करने की आवश्यकता पर भी बल दिया। उन्होंने कान्फ्रेंस के आयोजन के लिए हरियाणा सरकार की प्रशंसा करते हुए कहा कि यह कार्यक्रम न केवल हरियाणा को नया रास्ता दिखाएगा बल्कि आशा है कि इससे पूरे देश को नई दिशा मिलेगी।

राष्ट्रीय हरित प्राधिकरण द्वारा घग्गर नदी एवं ठोस कचरा प्रबंधन के लिए गठित कमेटी के कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष जस्टिस (सेवानिवृत) प्रीतमपाल सिंह ने रोहतक व परवाणु में कचरा प्रबंधन के लिए किए गए कार्यों का उदाहरण देते हुए सम्मेलन में उपस्थित हितधारकों से कहा कि स्वच्छता व पर्यावरण संरक्षण का कार्य केवल सरकारी स्तर पर ही नहीं बल्कि बच्चों से लेकर बुजुर्गों तक को इसमें भागीदार बनाते हुए एक जन आंदोलन बनाना होगा।

दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय के पूर्व जस्टिस एसपी गर्ग ने कहा कि इस कार्यक्रम के आयोजन का सबसे बड़ा उद्देश्य प्रदूषण नियंत्रण व कचरा प्रबंधन है। इसी उद्देश्य की पूर्ति के लिए विधि द्वारा स्थापित एक ऐसी संस्था की जरूरत है जिसका प्रदूषण फैलाने वालों में एक भय हो। उन्होंने कहा कि एनजीटी ने दिल्ली में 1200 जल स्रोतों का नवीनीकरण का निर्णय लिया। इनमें से काफी पर अतिक्रमण हो चुका था और काफी तालाब प्रदूषित पड़े थे। दिल्ली जल बोर्ड ने सबसे पहले 155 तालाबों के नवीनीकरण का प्रस्ताव तैयार किया है। आईआईटी दिल्ली को इसमें कंसलटेंसी एजेंसी नियुक्त किया। यह बड़ी खुशी की बात है कि हमने 91 जलस्रोतों को रिवाईज कर दिया है और 95 अन्य जलस्रोतों को सितंबर 2020 तक रिवाईज कर देंगे। स्कूल-कालेजों में रेन वाटर हार्वेस्टिंग सिस्टम शुरू करवाए और शोधित जल को बागवानी में प्रयोग कर कुछ नए कदम उठाए गए।

इस अवसर पर सीपीसीबी के चेयरमैन सी पी एस परिहार ने कहा कि हम सभी को पर्यावरण संबंधी विषयों को समझते हुए इस दिशा में एकजुट होकर प्रयास करने की आवश्यकता है। उन्होंने कहा कि हमें शहरी व ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों को एक साथ लेकर चलना होगा। उन्होंने कहा कि रिसायकिल व रियूज की दिशा में आगे बढ़ते हुए हमें कचरे का प्रबंधन करना चाहिए। हमें कचरे से रेवेन्यू जनरेट करने की तरफ ध्यान केन्द्रित करना चाहिए ताकि इससे आमदनी के साधन जुटाए जा सके। उन्होंने कहा कि पर्यावरण संबंधी विषय में अधिक से अधिक लोगों की भागीदारी सुनिश्चित की जानी अत्यंत आवश्यक है ताकि इसे जन आंदोलन बनाया जा सके।

हरियाणा की मुख्य सचिव केशनी आनंद अरोड़ा ने कहा कि हरियाणा सरकार द्वारा वेस्ट वाटर का इस्तेमाल करने को लेकर पाॅलिसी भी बनाई गई है। इस पाॅलिसी के तहत वर्ष-2030 तक 80 प्रतिशत वेस्ट वाटर का इस्तेमाल करने की योजना बनाई गई है। उन्होंने बताया कि प्रदेश में शहरी स्थानीय निकाय द्वारा 146 एसटीपी के माध्यम से 1500 एमएलडी पानी शोधित किया जा रहा है जिनकी सप्लाई प्रदेश के 200 घरों मे की जा रही है।। इसके अलावा, जल शक्ति अभियान के तहत भूमिगत जल को रिचार्ज करने में आज हरियाणा पहले स्थान पर है। प्रदेष में वैस्ट वाटर मैनेजमेट कमेटी का भी गठन किया जा चुका है। उन्होंने बताया कि प्रदेश के 92 प्रतिशत वार्डों में 100 प्रतिशत कचरे का डोर टू डोर कलेक्शन किया जा रहा है। इनमे ंसे 60 प्रतिशत वार्डों में सोर्स सैगरीगेशन किया जा रहा है।   इसके अलावा, प्रदेश के 22 जिलों में 662 सोलिड वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट लागू किए जा चुके है जबकि 477 लिक्विड वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट प्रौजेक्ट पूरे हो चुके हैं। ग्रामीण क्षेत्रो के लिए किए जाने वाले स्वच्छ ग्रामीण सर्वेक्षण 2018-19 में हरियाणा ने देश में दूसरा स्थान प्राप्त किया है।

कान्फ्रेंस में पर्यावरण विभाग की अतिरिक्त मुख्य सचिव धीरा खंडेलवाल ने कहा कि हमें पाॅल्यूशन का नही बल्कि साॅल्यूशन का पार्ट बनना है। उन्होंने कहा कि इस कान्फ्रेंस में हरियाणा,दिल्ली व उत्तर प्रदेश के विभिन्न विभागों शहरी स्थानीय निकाय, सिंचाई विभाग, जनस्वास्थ्य अभियंत्रिकी, प्रदूषण नियंत्रण व नगर निगम के अधिकारियों द्वारा वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट को लेकर बेस्ट प्रैक्टिसिज व अनुभवों को सांझा किया जा रहा है ताकि उन्हें ध्यान में रखते हुए भविष्य में परफेक्ट इन्वायमेंट सोल्यूशन निकाले जा सके। उन्होंने कान्फ्रेंस में प्रकृृति पर आधारित कविता भी सुनाई जिसका विषय ‘मै तुम्हारी सहचरी‘था।

इस अवसर पर यूपी के लिए गठित एनजीटी कमेटी के चेयरमैन डा़ अनूप चंद्र पांडे , पंजाब एनजीटी कमेटी के सदस्य सुबोध चंद्र अग्रवाल व जस्टिस जसबीर सिंह , यमुना माॅनीटरिंग कमेटी के सदस्य बी एस सजवान , घग्गर तथा ठोस कचरा प्रबंधन के लिए गठित एनजीटी कमेटी के सदस्य उर्वशी गुलाटी , स्वामी संपूर्णानंद, सीपीसीबी के चेयरमैन एस पीएस परिहार, हरियाणा राज्य प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड के चेयरमैन अशोक खेत्रपाल, शहरी स्थानीय निकाय के प्रधान सचिव वी उमाशंकर सहित कई वरिष्ठ अधिकारीगण उपस्थित थे।

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Editorial: Strive from 2020 for a gemütlich environment ahead

Ministry of Agriculture to set up laboratories to test quality of compost produced by local authorities or their authorized agencies

Sanjaya K. Mishra

Editorial Published on 25th December 2019

Year 2019 is quickly running out. The world is ecstatic to welcome the New Year 2020. Looking back, it was an encouraging year. India became one of the first countries in the world to develop and launch a comprehensive Cooling Action Plan, India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched to tackle the problem of air pollution. NCAP targets 20 to 30% reductioIMG_20191226_013858n of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration by 2024, compared to 2017. 

Water Talk by National Water Mission, Green Good Deeds Campaign, the fight against single-use plastic, increase in tiger population addition in forest cover, and the release of White Paper on National Aviation Policy, to address major environmental challenges of the Indian aviation industry – are incredible. The National Green Tribunal’s Order dated 30th April 2019 pertaining to sewage disposal standards was a remarkable one. Jal Jeevan Mission was launched to ensure piped water supply to every household “Har Ghar Jal”. The formation of the new ministry, the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) was a significant move. The Jal Shakti Abhiyan, the time-bound mission for water conservation to enhance water security, especially in the water-stressed districts, created a huge impact across the nation. It has delivered over 5 Lakh local water conservation infrastructure in 256 districts. An estimated 370 Lakh people participated in the mission making it a people’s movement. About 123 million saplings were planted as afforestation intervention through this mission. 

However, as the river water management, and clean up deals with the treatment of water pollution and wastewater management, a part of the Pollution Control Board could further be considered to be included in the MoJS. The format could be followed in the state as well, where the groundwater regulatory body and water pollution control body could be merged. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change may focus on emission control, air quality, soil quality-related subjects, alongside the environmental and forest clearances. Solid wastes, hazardous wastes, plastic wastes, e-wastes, battery wastes, bio-medical wastes, and construction and demolition (C&D) wastes are going to be major challenges in the forthcoming years. It has been observed by the National Green Tribunal and even the Supreme Court that the efficiency of municipal bodies have remained appalling in the solid waste, plastic waste, and C&D waste fronts. The structure of SPCBs can handle the subject. 

Coming back to 2019, Activism was also phenomenal. From Delhi air pollution to Mumbai Aarey, to PLPA in Haryana and Talabira in Odisha. Also, there were numerous exemplary works in the field of waste management. Especially, some RWAs working towards zero waste and fight against Single-Use Plastic. The year 2020 will be another crucial year for the environment. The deadline to leapfrog from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms by 1stApril 2020. This has created tremendous changes in the automotive market. India has embraced for faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing, with a goal to 30% electric vehicles by 2030. Many new job openings would come out for wastewater professionals to meet the 31st March 2020 deadline given by the NGT.

As time is running out, to attain a better environment, to restore forest, and nature so that people and wildlife can thrive. As it may take time to turn the ship around, we need to start now. Everybody – individuals, citizens, institutions, academicians, governments, judiciary, businesses, activists, NGOs, and media – together, we can step up in 2020 and take urgent action to protect and restore nature, before it’s too late.

 

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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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Editorial: Who will ensure Quality of Compost from Garbage?

Ministry of Agriculture to set up laboratories to test quality of compost produced by local authorities or their authorized agencies

Sanjaya K. Mishra

Editorial Published on 18th December 2019

Composting as defined in Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 vide S.O. 1357(E) the 8th April 2016, means a controlled process involving the microbial decomposition of organic matter. With growing awareness and compliance with rule 4, many waste generators, Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs), Group Housing Societies, Malls, Hotels, Hospitals, Office Complexes; are now making compost in their premises. Some have adopted garbage converters, others generate compost by aerobic composting or vermicomposting. Some institutions, as required for those with more than 5,000 SQM area, also converting biodegradable waste into compost. At the same time, with growing activism and increasing interruption of Courts and Tribunals, the Municipal Bodies are also working proactively towards solid waste management. Thus, a huge quantity of compost is being generated.

According to the SWM Rules 2016, the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers shall provide market development assistance on city compost, and ensure promotion of co-marketing of compost with chemical fertilizers in the ratio of 3 to 4 bags: 6 to 7 bags by the fertilizer companies to the extent compost is made available for marketing to the companies. Further, the SWM Rules specifies that the Ministry of Agriculture through appropriate mechanisms shall propagate utilization of compost on farmland. It has also given the responsibility to set up laboratories to test the quality of compost produced by local authorities or their authorized agencies. Download SWM Rule 2016 (English)

The above responsibilities by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Ministry of Agriculture are not as visible as the enthusiasm of RWAs to make compost out of bio-degradable waste. Compost quality is essential to be analyzed as specified in the Schedule-II of SWM Rules, 2016. And it has a significant meaning as according to the “Fact Sheet on Plastic Waste in India, 2018”, The Energy Research Institute (TERI), plastic contributes to 8% of the total solid waste. A significant amount of toxic heavy metals like copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium recovered from plastic wastes from seashores have an adverse effect on the coastal ecosystems. Lead and Cadmium pigments, commonly used in most of the plastics as additives are hazardous in nature and are known to leach out. And this is only one source of possible contamination in the compost. This clearly indicates there is a substantial possibility of contamination in compost. At the moment, the compost is being utilized in potted plants, terrace gardens, lawns, gardens, greenbelts. There is a risk of using unknown quality of compost in potted plants. Further, contaminations and pollutants in compost may also degrade the soil and groundwater quality in the long term. Therefore, it is high time to establish laboratories and disseminate the information. It is also important for the EIA Consultants and the Compliance Professionals to address the subject as per legal provisions. Heaps of compost are being generated and over the years the quantity will increase. However, it is also time to review the annual reports prepared by the Local Bodies to obtain facts and figures. Proper utilization through the appropriate market, as delineated in the SWM Rule could lead to a win-win-win situation for the waste generator to farmers to government. There should not be any chance left to pile up compost in place of raw garbage.

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How to know where to use your Compost?

Useful for Auditors, Professionals, Consultants & Regulators

Sanjaya K. Mishra

To download, click on the link given below.

Compost Quality Parameters

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The Stubble Trouble – Huddle up to water it down

Madhusudan Hanumappa

Madhusudan Hanumappa

The author is a Post Graduate educated in Economics & Environment law has been a Social Development Practitioner for the past 30 plus years working on infrastructure, policy and outreach advocacy, environment management, training capacity building, solid waste management, etc. His experience spreads across Asia, Pacific and South Africa

Stubble burning has been a curse for the capital city, Delhi. The neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana have been equally responsible in their contribution as much are the other factors of industrial and vehicular pollution addition to the chaos we are facing on a daily basis as citizens of Delhi.

This is the quality of life we do not deserve after being faithful tax payers. Where do we go from here? Who will address our concern about air pollution? Are we at a stage where we would be bumped off for the curse of choosing to live in Delhi?

Polluting Industries have been shifted from the city to the outskirts, again leading the city to expand beyond those boundaries. Various measures are being implemented. Vehicles are being experimented through Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), odd/even formula, expansion of metro services, building the peripheral expressway to avoid large trucks and those vehicles that would have passed through the city to, being diverted from a National Highway to another, trying to work on rehabilitation of the landfill sites, switching over fuel from diesel to Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to run industrial boilers and generators and so.

But we are at the critical stage of choking our lungs and dying a natural death in the process as none of the above seem to have helped much in the endeavour of reducing air pollution. Over the years this has rather steeply raised and is now moving faster to hit the skies faster than we can estimate.

It is time now to do something, immediately. The team of Let’s Be The Change (LBTC) could be an example. LBTC is a dynamic initiative by Dr. Ruby Makhija, General Secretary of Navjiwan Resident Welfare Association and an eye specialist by profession; where a group of like-minded citizens has joined hands to work towards the betterment of society and environment. The group has been relentlessly working to provide solution to one of the problems, which would have two-three effects.

Now speaking of stubble burning, and the problem of use of plastic in large quantities by the E-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart, etc., and enabling the farmers to earn a little from the stubble, which is burnt.

We, the team of LBTC, believe that looking from the traditional perspective the packing was generally done by using straw of various kinds for glass, or any other item that was transported for long distances. This was in practice if we look at the dates around the 1970s and 80s. Somehow, this practice got fizzled out due to the introduction of plastic; because of its low price, and easy availability. Over the years, we have become so much dependent on plastic that once the caption of Steel Authority of India, which said “there is a bit of steel in everybody’s life” could now be written as “there is only plastic in everybody’s life”.

So getting back to our subject, if a strategy could worked out, where it becomes win-win for all, the farmers, the e-commerce and the people of Delhi and its adjoining cities, suffering from the menace of the mammoth air pollution problem and predicament due to plastic, which has engulfed our lives to an extent where we have stalled our brains from thinking beyond this.

The quantity of products that the e-commerce companies are selling can be seen on the google sites where it indicates that, One of its India units, Amazon Seller Services alone have received over Rs. 8,000 crore (about USD 1.28 billion) during the financial year 2017-18 from the US parent, as per documents filed with India’s Corporate Affairs Ministry.  So, if I estimate a product to be on an average costing about Rs. 500 (because they sell everything under the sun, practically) then the number of products sold would be 1.5 crores. This shows the quantum of much plastic utilized. Considering use of about 100 gms of plastic (keeping it on the conservative side) it comes to nearly 15 lakh tons of plastic used.

Looking at the economics the cost of this plastic, designing product wise, procuring, quality check, transportation to each logistic centre, manpower cost, there is a huge recurring expenditure.

On the contrary, the utilization of the straw or the stubble for the packaging could save a huge sum. There may be issues pertaining to the collection, storage, cutting the straw into small units and then transporting to the logistic centres. But compared to the plastic this is easier to collect and also in terms of utilization. The cost-saving would also be great.

Further, in the process the farmers are benefitted with source of income from the waste generated, which they tend to burnt. This income could also enable them to buy products or services that will enhance the fertility of the soil through other alternates then burning the stubble.

Secondly, by adopting agricultural straws in packaging, there will be a significant reduction of the plastic usage, which is the dire necessity of the day. Above all, the cost to be incurred by the country for disposal of agricultural straw based packaging waste will be far negligible as compared to the plastic waste.

Thirdly, the issue of air pollution can be addressed in a large way. The economics of the health-related expenditure due to this air pollution may be calculated. But, not the lives we are losing to air pollution. At least, we are at loss to estimate a loss of life in terms of the family, society, and country.

Therefore, it would be important for the governments, the policy makers, the advocates, civil societies, the non-government organizations, the media, think tanks and the citizens need to come together in this endeavour as alone none of us can attain any solution. Together We Can and Together We Will.

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The Residents’ Welfare Associations – The Proactive Approach

Madhusudan Hanumappa

Madhusudan Hanumappa

The author is a Post Graduate educated in Economics & Environment law has been a Social Development Practitioner for the past 30 plus years working on infrastructure, policy and outreach advocacy, environment management, training capacity building, solid waste management, etc. His experience spreads across Asia, Pacific and South Africa

The generic

The resident or the citizen I would like to address is generally empowered by being a part of the city. More so in the context of a city of Delhi which has withstood the test of time for centuries we feed proud to be residing here. Like any other city, Delhi also has its set of challenges that the city poses to its residents and how we address them is up to us in partnership with the government and its agencies to make a better quality of life.

In this context, as part of my series of articles on Solid Waste Management, I would like to bring about the positives of a resident welfare association. Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) or for that matter many associations have created an image of being irresponsible, unreachable, untouchable, non-responsive, so and so forth. This more to do with the resident welfare associations. There is an election, some win the positions, and after that, it’s normal to just address some issues that are raised in common, like drains clogged, power failures, and similar problems. This also puts off the RWAs office bearers that they have become puppets in the hands of the residents and they keep blaming everything and all the time rather than acknowledging the efforts put in by the office-bearers. It becomes a thankless job.

But in my opinion when I started the program on solid waste management I also and my team faced a lot of resistance from the RWAs, the other residents, the other stakeholders in the community that are responsible to appropriately enable solid waste management. But persistence and patience has paid for me as an individual and as a program for my team.

The Program

Effective solid waste management through source segregation of waste at the households is the only method of enabling to dispose of the waste responsibly. This program is being implemented by me and my team through a program named as Well Being Out of Waste and ITC initiative being executed by its implementing partner E Sree Foundation.

The Embrace

Time always takes care of many things for us in the same way our persistence leads us to believe in ourselves and in the RWAs. A series of coordination get-togethers enabled us to build trust amongst the associations and its residents that this team was here to do something and why not give them a chance and see how they perform. The associations were putting me and my team to test in the real sense. We were up for the challenge.

Thus the handholding was initiated and slowly we could get closer on the program activities, participation from the residents’ welfare associations enlarged, the motivation exercise to the residents increased and the program was clutching onto the people and they realized that this was a positive step to make our lives healthier and create a clean environment. So, the thought of Why Not? It started spreading across the colonies and the city.

I still had challenges with some people resisting the cause, but we increased the coordination, cooperation and handholding wherein the scope of getting out of the clutches was not possible. This was all for a cause and which was absorbed to a large extent.

The fastening

The hold of the residents’ welfare associations eased our efforts and we have become more confident about the program sustainability. In light of this we are being invited by various RWAs across the NCR region. We have now tried to consolidate in areas we are working and build a network of the RWAs wherein positive learnings and challenges are being shared and solutions provided by like-minded positive members. These groups have members from different walks of life and various geographical boundaries.

It is appropriate to provide the example of a few RWAs from South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Area and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Area. These RWAs have traveled that extra mile by thinking out-of-the-box and making efforts to see that as a RWA and as citizens we can contribute and contribute positively in partnership with NGOs, Government Agencies and Community Based Organisations.

It is right to mention that colonies like Navjeevan Vihar (a South Delhi elite Colony) has created a benchmark in creating a zero-waste generating colony. Followed by other elite colonies like Sarvapriya Vihar, Sarvodaya Enclave, etc. the influence these South Delhi colonies have created has evinced interest in other colonies across the NCR to come down to see the colony and discuss with the RWA on how they could achieve this miracle. It was one person that took the charge and all followed suit in all these three colonies, I call them the Three Musketeers in the Nari Shakti Form (a female divine force). Following suit, a group of three women (again nari shakti) from Sunder Nagar (non-RWA members) have taken it upon themselves to address this challenge of source segregation of waste at the household level and ensure they challenge the other colonies in becoming a zero-waste generating colony in the near future. They have almost reached; they will achieve this target in the weeks to come.

In continuation of this Sangli Apartments (a NDMC defence officers’ apartments) wherein one person (this time it is a man) again took up the challenge and has created a wet waste composting model for Delhi to see. We have people across the NCR visiting to understand that such an exercise and inside a closed apartment place without any dirt or bad odour. It comes as a surprise to all when we speak about it, but when they actually see and feel the organic waste converted to organic manure, their eyes get lightened up.

The success

I believe that the stigma of an RWA being non-responsive and many such things have gone out of the window now. If the RWAs make up their mind then everything can happen and all goodwill happens. Earnestly all citizens should stand up with their RWAs, a few should put up their hands, like in Sunder Nagar and take up the challenges of the colony and start working towards doing rather than preaching. Like I always emphasize, The Time To Preach Is Over, It Time To Do And The Right Time Is Now Or Never.

It is true that once the RWAs pull up its socks then the municipal bodies and other government agencies will definitely go that extra mile to support and engage with you as a team. The support from both SDMC and NDMC has been unprecedented and we are all hopeful this will continue and our program will be sustainable to provide our progeny a better place to live.

The acknowledgment: I as a member of this program and my team of the ITC WOW E Sree foundation Team Delhi are extremely privileged to be participating with these great individuals and increase our learning curve in terms of community engagement and participation in the true sense which has been feeling while scanning books and or viewing documentaries. Good luck to all and salutations to all engaged in this endeavour.

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