India’s pollution watchdog the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has woken up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat call and has asked states to ensure that all waste generated in cities is properly disposed off.
The move comes after the National Green Tribunal pulled up the board for failing to enforce the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 that provides for proper segregation and disposal of the waste generated in cities.
This will prove a challenge for over 5,000 municipal bodies in India as only 27,000 tonnes of 1.44 lakh tonnes of garbage generated daily gets properly treated. Only about 40% of the garbage generated every day is picked up.
“Many of the urban local bodies do not have capacity to treat so much waste,” a senior pollution board official said, adding that funding for the waste treatment projects was minuscule.
A CPCB report submitted to the green tribunal pointed out that many of the state pollution control boards have failed to submit status reports on implementation of the rules since 2000 when it was notified – resulting in a limited amount of the information required by the CPCB to enforce the rules brought by the previous NDA government to ensure cleanliness in cities through a house-to-house collection mechanism.
The report shows that even after 15 years, many state governments have failed to introduce the house-to-house collection system – which is implemented by Gujarat, Goa and Himachal Pradesh.
Following the NGT rap, the CPCB issued a notification under the Water Act and Air Act making municipal bodies responsible for implementing the rule and made state pollution control nodal offices for monitoring the implementation of a roadmap for implementation of the rules. The road map will then be submitted to the green tribunal for further directions, CPCB officials said.