Dehradun, Haridwar ULBs flout waste disposal rules, says CAG
Report says collected waste was dumped in trenching grounds without segregation or processing.
Urban local bodies of Dehradun and Haridwar districts are not following municipal solid waste (MSW) rules, says a report of the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG). While segregation of the waste at the source was lacking, questions were raised on disposal and processing as well.
The CAG report of 2016-17, released on Thursday, exposed poor planning of ULBs in both the districts on waste disposal.
Segregation of Waste
The report said the collected solid waste was being dumped in trenching grounds without segregation and processing. “Contrary to the provisions mentioned in Schedule III of Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, which provide for keeping away waste landfills from habitation clusters, the present trenching ground in Dehradun was located in an inhabited area, i.e., at Sahastradhara Road.”
The rules mandate segregation of waste at the source. This means waste needs to be segregated as dry and wet in households, industries, and other establishments before collection. The segregation helps in managing waste at the trenching ground.
The report mentions burning of waste in the trenching ground of Sarai in Haridwar and near Rock Valley apartment in Dehradun. “This not only violated the instructions issued by the NGT (December 2016) and the state government’s directives but also posed environment hazards,” says the report. The ULBs haven’t paid attention to spreading awareness on segregation.
The report states none of the ULBs and the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) had carried out groundwater and ambient air tests in the areas surrounding the trenching grounds. CAG raised concern over the impacts of solid waste collection.
“On this being pointed out, SPCB (State Pollution Control Board) replied that the waste processing facilities and waste disposal sites were under construction in both the NNs (nagar nigams), and as and when the facilities are developed and commissioned, the board would commence monitoring of ambient air and water quality parameters as per stipulated procedures and requirements,” the report says.
“The reply is not acceptable as monitoring of groundwater and ambient air quality is the responsibility of NNs and SPCB irrespective of existence of waste processing facilities and waste disposal sites.”
The report states the solid waste processing plant at Sheeshambada in Dehrdun has a capacity of processing 200 metric tonnes waste per day as per October 2016 data. But the actual waste generation is 257 metric tonnes per day. The plant was not functional at the time of audit.
“The plant at Sheeshambada, which is yet to be completed, would not be in a position to cater to the needs of solid waste management in Dehradun,” says the report.
In Haridwar, a processing plant is set up at Sarai with a capacity of 100 metric tonnes. The average waste generation in the district is 250 metric tonnes.
The report pointed out Dehradun ULB spent 7%, 9% and 20% of the total expenditure on solid waste management-related infrastructure development during 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Haridwar ULB spent 8%, 26% and 41% on infrastructure.
“Expenditure on salary acc-ounted for more than 90% of total expenditure in Dehradun in 2014- 15 and 2015-16. During 2016-17, it accounted for around 80% of the expenditure. Haridwar spent 92%, 74% and 59% of total expenditure on salary,” says the report.
The report underlines that 12%-22% of waste in Dehradun and 24%-29% in Haridwar was not collected during 2014-2017. The uncollected waste was left in community bins.
“The uncollected waste was left in common community bins. Also, this waste was found scattered in various public places, posing severe threat to public health and environment, apart from spoiling the overall ambience of the cities,” says the report.
The report further states that both the urban local bodies accepted the facts quoted on non-collection of waste. While Dehradun blamed it on insufficient resources, such as shortage of manpower, bins, and vehicles, Haridwar said linked it to the lack of scientific landfill and compost.
Nine of 22 vehicles costing ~1.21 crore were found without use at the time of audit in Haridwar ULB. Thirteen vehicles were used for collection of garbage, leading to a shortfall in collection in the district.
Uncovered vehicles were used for transporting waste in both the districts. “Out of total available vehicles, only 58% and 64% vehicles were operational in Dehradun and Haridwar, respectively. Further, only 7% and 46% vehicles were covered in Dehradun and Haridwar,” says the report.