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Time we saw pigs as green agents

delhi Updated: Sep 05, 2010 22:47 IST
Bharati Chaturvedi
Bharati Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times
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We often struggle to compost our wet waste, or feel guilty just letting it go. It really is a problem-in landfills and in the open, it decomposes and creates greenhouse gases. But here in India, despite a thriving piggery business, we have not yet looked at pigs as the green agents they are. If your wet waste is fed to a pig, there is no question of greenhouse gases.

Not only that, landfill space is saved and the livelihoods of the piggery owners is sustained too. The Indian rules have a lot to say about what we should be doing with leftover food and vegetable peels, but it's primarily pegged around technology. Indian experience tells us that only a small amount of waste can be composted because of lack of space, investment and confidence in technology.

As we enter an era of environmental crisis, let's stop dismissing other efficient systems that can green our cities. Let's upgrade the widespread practice of swine feeding to green it.

Vedanta, Araku & More
Even as we rejoice at compelling Vedanta to follow the rules, let's remember there are several Vedantas brewing across the country. Take Araku in Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, where a group of dirt-poor people, some dependant on NREGA to survive, are against local bauxite mining. In this case, not only are the people against the plan, but so is their MP.

The recent history of mining tells us that powerful individuals and companies are able to break rules and profit personally. Why support something that will destabilise society and destroy the environment?

Araku and all the other potential mining areas where there is conflict have to be transparently re-evaluated in the context of political stability as well as poverty alleviation before they even come to an environmental clearance stage.