New DelhiTo improve solid waste management in Delhi, the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs announced a Rs 300-crore action plan on Friday.Addressing the public affairs forum of India, union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the initiative would be aided by the ministry through the ‘urban development fund’ operated by the Delhi Development Authority.“Under the plan, automated machinery, equipment and other systems will be procured for better collection, transport, storage and decentralised treatment of garbage. Besides, steps would be taken for better maintenance of sewers and drains,” said Puri. According to the plan, the North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporation would need to spend R 100 crore each on procuring a total of 549 units of modern equipment. Of the total cost, an assistance of R 80 crore will be provided to each MCD from the Urban Development Fund. “All equipment, including treatment plants, are to be procured and commissioned by the end of this year,” said Puri. The initiative will increase the capacity to treat 670 tonnes of bio-degradable waste, besides preventing release of foul gases, smell and proliferation of germs, pathogens, pests, etc., from garbage sites.The project includes buying battery-operated litter pickers for markets (50 each for MCDs), automated mounted litter pickers, biomethanation plant of average 100 tonnes of capacity, etc.LG ask municipal bodies to landscape landfills Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal directed the three municipal corporations –North, South and East DMC to initiate the process of landscaping and beautification of landfills at Okhla in South, Bhalswa in North and Ghazipur in East Delhi.He highlighted the steps taken by these agencies to improve sanitation in their jurisdiction and emphasised that the success of these projects would depend on the support of residents. Lauding the steps taken by New Delhi Municipal Council with regard to sanitation, installation of sewer treatment plants (STPs), smart toilets and mobile app-based public grievance redressal systems, the L-G said all three corporations should follow the footprints of the NDMC . And all local bodies, including NDMC, should interact once a fortnight, he said.