Solid Waste Management Crisis – A Major Challenge of Mega Cities
Solid Waste Management is one of the major challenges faced by almost all the countries and particularly by mega cities over the globe. The mega cities in India too are facing it. The collection of waste and its disposal is a major question and headache before the administration.
The recent fire incidents at Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai is a stark example. The recurrent fires in same manner and at same place are raising multiple questions. The quality of city’s air is continuously deteriorating due to the blazes. Hopefully as per report from ‘System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research’ (SAFAR) the situation should improve with fire extinguishing and management operations. However it would take time for the air to get clean.
But what is further worrying is the use of potable water on massive scale in fire extinguishing operations. On the one hand major parts of Maharashtra is facing acute water scarcity problem, while on the other hand around 14.4 lakhs litres of potable water was used to fight the fire at the Deonar dumping ground. Had there been a proper scientific and methodical system in place for solid waste management, the water wastage could have been avoided easily.
The administration has started to take the problem of solid waste management very seriously. In a recent notification by The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, strict rules have been framed for the disposal of the E-Waste. About 17 lakh tonnes of E-waste is estimated to be generated annually, with an increase of about 5% every year in India. The new rules under the notification puts the onuses on the manufacturers to collect E-Waste generated during the manufacture of any electrical and electronic equipment and channelize it for recycling or disposal and seek authorization from State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB). Also recently the Bombay High Court partially has banned new constructions in Mumbai, except a few, citing the challenges in the city’s solid waste management policy.
— Samir Dattopadhye (@samirsinh189) March 1, 2016
The formation of proper waste management study circles is the prime need of the hour. Institutions like IITs, IISc, BARC and DRDO should be involved so as to give time-bound proposals to make available the recent technologies in solid waste management. With the rising waste crisis all over, a serious thought is required on the channelizing of better methods of waste management at all levels and save the citizens from the hazards of inept solid waste management policy.