ENVIRONMENTAL LAW FOR URBAN MANAGEMENT. Almitra H Patel, Member, Supreme Court Committee for SWM in Class 1 Cities 50 Kothnur, Bagalur Rd, Bangalore 560077 firstname.lastname@example.org. WASTE IS WEALTH. Since Vedic times, food wastes returned to the soil for sustainable
Almitra H Patel,
Member, Supreme Court Committee for SWM in Class 1 Cities
50 Kothnur, Bagalur Rd, Bangalore 560077
Since Vedic times, food wastes
returned to the soil for sustainable
farming. The plastic yug and urea
subsidies have destroyed this cycle.
Villages around cities suffer horrific
waste dumps, dogs, flies, smoke &
stench but feel helpless to protest.
Bangalore began dumping its waste
randomly on its beautiful outskirts for
want of official waste-disposal sites.
Capt Velu and I found this the case all
over India, during our 100-city Clean
India Campaigns by road in 1994 + 95.
Filed against every State and U.T. +
GoI, CPCB, 10 worst and 4 best cities.
1998 SC 8-member Committee formed
and Interim Report presented to 400
municipal officials, on all aspects.
1999 Final Report approved by all 300 Class 1 Cities in “mini-referendum”
2000 MSW Mgt & Handling Rules
Apply to all ULBs, pop over 20,000
Mandatory to set up waste processing and disposal facilities by 31.12.2003
Supreme Court will soon send case to
every State High Court for monitoring
ULBs’ compliance with these Rules.
Citizens can approach the Amicus for
redressal of city’s non-performance.
Keep Wet and Dry wastes unmixed
at source until collected at fixed time.
Daily doorstep collection of wet waste
for Composting. Landfill only rejects.
Dry wastes left to informal recyclers.
City must not mix any debris (malba), drain silt or road dust in garbage collection. Use 2nd shift trip if reqd.
Calcutta uses its normal handcarts & staff
at no extra charge to citizens.
80% cooperation in residential areas.
Nasik loads directly from homes into tipper trucks, to handle waste once only.
Most cities use 4-6-bucket handcarts.
No additional legislation is reqd, as
SR Rao showed with Additional
Cleaning Charges in Surat, or Mumbai
does for Apartments: wet-waste only.
Bangalore’s official policy is for wet-
dry collection in separate bins in cart
They bring all thin-plastic waste from home to school one day a week.
A waste-buyer visits schools weekly.
Funds are collected class-wise and
Used at end of term for Eco-Clubs.
Parents cooperate wonderfully !
SEWA Ahmedabad is best, all-India
SNDT Pune has rag-pickers’ Union
PCMC provides waste-sorting and storage space, + eqpt at dump to recycle plastic by Mahila Sangha
Mumbai gives PET collection space
Provide waste-sorting & storing spaces.
Promote eco-parks with quality power and soft loans for pollution control eqpt, to bring recyclers into the mainstream.
Change PWD codes and specifications to include beneficial new technologies like waste-plastic-modified bitumen roads and fly-ash use in bricks, embankments and highways.
A City is only as clean as its Dirtiest Areas.
Slums are the easiest to clean and the most cooperative.
Mumbai uses ‘take-away bins’ in Slum Adoption Schemes.
B’lore has trucks stop at gate.
Mumbai ALMs reduce wastes by 90%
Spraying Delhi’s dalao with bioculture
reduced monthly clearance trips from
30 to just 6 ! Savings pay for treatment
Campus-composting services are “in”.
Require this for all large public spaces
Hotel wastes go to Food Banks or pigs
Charge them “Polluter-Pays” user
fees and modify the cleaning hours.
Require each ground-flr shop/office
to keep its frontage-width clean
including pavement + drain.
New By-laws may be needed for this.
Dumped on streets or vacant plots at night
May need new Bylaws for Fines afterNotice
or walls around vacant plots (Rajkot) or
clearance on payment (Chennai, Ghaziabad).
Collect volume-based deposit on Plan-Sanction
Start Debris Hot-line to link buyers & producers.
Bldg materials must move on-site below 1st slab
or confiscate & collect separately for city’s use.
when adding Wards or planning Layouts:
Parking and washing space for handcarts
Dry-Waste sorting and storage spaces
Parking for take-away trucks at markets
Hospital-waste-management sites / space
Debris exchanges,waste-for-fuel or feed.
Move livestock out to planned zones before adding or developing new areas
Plan dispersed space for Hawking Zones
Zones for migrant construction labour, and plan for those who will stay back.
Affordable –Housing Zoning for slum-free cities, with sites-and-services.
Sale Deeds to have clauses for :
Not mixing wet and dry wastes
Rainwater-harvesting, groundwater recharge
Common toilets+ water in pvt societies & temporary toilets during construction
Cleanliness of frontages till road centre if any ground-floor offices or shops.
Avoid unserved Twilight Zones:
Waste clearance from Day One by DA or private agents, with user fees and Polluter-Pays for trade-wastes.
AVOID unsustainable NGO Pilot projects that seek capital + operating funds !
Give area to ULB when 50% occupied.
MSW Rules Sch III 1. asks Development
Authorities to identify and hand over
sites to ULB;State UD Dept to coordinate.
Don’t just look for “available” Revenue land.
Identify the most suitable site, then
lease, buy or acquire it at market rates.
So there must always be advance
involvement of local residents in an
advisory committee, plus ‘Polluter Pays’
compensation to the host Panchayat or
Ward by the ULB or Stateby way of
better infrastructure, facilities, payment.
No matter how desperate the need for space, do it right or not at all.
Ground - water can be polluted in one
downpour, and take 15 years to clean up.
Waste stabilisationin windrows
is quick, easy & inexpensive (Pune,Blr)
using EM. Powerpoint available.
When new homes, schools and industries
spring up around such once - ideal sites,
protests for shifting of the compost plant
begin even before it can come up,
supported by the unplanned-builder lobby.
and thus meet India’s annual shortfall of
6 million tons of organic manures to
*drought-proof our dry-land agriculture,
*reclaim our degraded soils,
*revegetate mining overburdens,
*reduce pollution of peri-urban areas.
to ensure locally available and affordable city
compost use along with chemical fertilizers.
Combined use ensures three times better
uptake of urea by cropsand prevents nitrate
pollution of ground-water by unbalanced over-
use of urea or Nitrogenous fertilisers
Such Integrated Plant Nutrient Management
( IPNM ) gives excellent yields without
depleting soil quality over time.
33 feasibility reports + 17 MOUs over 5
years = not a single working WTE plant,
several scams, 2 convictions and a
pretence at pelletisation.
There are no “free” BOOT schemes.
The public pays the hidden penalties for quality, quantity & counter-guarantees
e.g. Lucknow’s Rs 65 crores for 125 tons a day and an impossible 5 MW, with 15 cr subsidy from MNES.
A 125 tpd compost plant costs 5crore.
One MW conventional power costs 4-6 crores for thermal or hydel energy
Specified in MSW Rules for all, to prevent leachate from undigested waste or rainfall on wastes from entering ground-water.
A good one at Pune costs Rs 2 cr for 600tpd for 2-3 yrs life. There is also one at Nasik.
Fully lined landfills are not really reqd for v v small towns or in very dry areas.
??? May seek case-by-case exemption from SPCB for these locations, taking care to collect domestic haz-wastes separately.
Running a city efficiently and keeping
it clean every day requires exceptional
skills, commitment and dedication at all
Administrative reforms can help create
an improved working climate for this.
Use the skills of our Navaratna City Managers (India’s unsung heroes) as trainers in our IAS Academies.
Both IAS + Public Service Commission curricula need full-scale courses on waste mgt. Also training programs in SWM issues for new Corporators.
Cities, like Companies need annual, three-year and ten-year plans and a Perform-or-Perish work culture.
‘Frequent transfers’ at whim at a day’s notice play havoc with effective planning, execution and morale, and the cost of failed long-term planning is incalculable.
Each person assigned any responsibility
should automatically have some financial
authority to go with the respective post, eg
1 Day’s salary as automatic discretionary imprest allowance for Class 3 staff,
1 Wk’s pay to Cl. 2 staff for ‘stitch-in-time’ action
1 Month’s salary as imprest for Class 1 officers
Delegation of fiscal powers will make a
huge difference to grievance redressal,
on-road efficiency, productivity & costs.
The poorest always suffer the most from
uncleaned cities & creeping privatisation
thru recruitment freezes while cities grow.
Triple the job openings in SWM by
exempting waste mgt services from the
Contract Labour Act, and privatise as much
% of city area as staff shortage %. Eg A.P.
Allow City Managers and/or elected bodies their 74th Amendment autonomy to raise resources in their respective ways with-out requiring State Govt assent for this.
Index all items of city income annually to the cost-of-living index to stay in tune with reality.
This avoids the populist deferment of needed increases till after elections. All political parties can act in the name of such blanket rules.
Ensure credible payment mechanisms thru
fool-proof payment guarantees through
Banks. If payments, agreements or grants
are delayed, parties will simply run away.
Avoid unrealistic demands for waste-
processors to bear waste-transport costs
or pay royalties. Hygienic waste
processing and disposal is a social cost,
easily met by more disciplined waste-
collection that excludes debris and silt.
Cities are banning Paan Paraag etc.
Similarly require take-back schemes, esp of wasteful or hard-to-recycle packaging.
Require take-back of PET bottles at producers’ cost, not cities’ and citizens’.
New industries here must conform to their home-country environmental standards.