1.25 lakh tonnes of C&D waste collected in 2020, fines worth Rs 40 lakh levied for violation
The Municipal Corporation of Gururgam (MCG) has collected close to 1.25 lakh tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste from across the city so far this year, to be processed at its treatment plant in Basai. The corporation has also collected Rs 40 lakh in fines for violations of the Centre’s Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules this year, up from Rs 20 lakh collected in 2019.
The MCG has also been purchasing recycled aggregates from its Basai plant and plans to start manufacturing its own paver blocks, for use in pavements and bicycle tracks, from October 2020. The plan was revealed by Vinay Pratap Singh, commissioner, MCG, at a recent webinar on C&D waste management in India, organised by Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to mark the launch of a new report titled ‘Another Brick Off the Wall: Improving Construction and Demolition Waste Management in Indian Cities’,
Singh also emphasized the role of C&D waste management in pushing up Gurugram’s score on the annual Swachh Survekashan survey, with the Basai plant having started operations in December last year. Gurugram this year ranked 62nd among 382 cities with a population of 100,000 to 1 million on India’s annual cleanliness survey. In 2019, Gurugram was placed 83 out of 425 cities. In 2018, it had a rank of 105 and in the year before that, it was 112.
Despite these improvements, Singh added that the city is grappling with close to nine lakh tonnes of legacy waste that has accumulated over the years, with at least another 300 tonnes per day (TPD) which continue to be generated. “Steps are being taken to address this. MCG has assessed the amount of C&D waste generated. Non-disclosure of the estimation of the C&D waste generated attracts penalties, which have been increased five times this year,” said Singh, explaining the increase in fine collection.
Experts, on the other hand, said that the efficient management of C&D waste in Gurugram — as with other cities — continues to be a challenge. The CSE report identifies at least 10 broad reasons for the poor implementation of the Centre’s 2016 rules, including slow progress in adopting required technology, lack of preparedness at a state level, constraints of finding available land, and affordable pricing of recycled aggregates. These points were based on investigations carried out in 16 Indian cities, including Gurugram.
Avikal Somvanshi, programme manager, sustainable cities, at CSE, who authored the report, said, “We found Gurugram has mounted a better response, or at least has a better idea of what an appropriate response is, than most other cities we surveyed. Bombay, for example, still does not have a C&D waste plant, while the model deployed in neigbouring Delhi has not been successful. Gurugram is one of the few Indian cities which has both the infrastructure to treat demolition waste, and a model to collect and transport waste.”
In terms of vigilance, too, Somvanshi added, the quantum of fines collected for C&D waste violations suggest that Gurugram has done a better job at trying to deter violations — though the CSE report does not provide comparative figures for fine collections in other cities. “Even so, Gurugram’s response needs to be scaled up, and it indicates mainly how poor the regulations are in other cities. Gurugram has a blueprint for a successful model, which has now commenced and whose real efficacy is yet to be seen.”
Other steps taken by Gurugram — which Somvanshi added were largely absent in other cities — is inclusion of a C&D waste clause in building permits. As per the CSE report, this ensures that “generators deposit all the waste at their disposal points at the time of building permits. This basically removes the access of the informal sector to the waste.”
Gurugram has also “notified segregation on premises in six different streams — namely brick and masonry; concrete and steel; soil, sand and gravel; wood and plastics; other metals; and miscellaneous.”
“For comparison, Delhi has not spelled out its segregation criteria, while Ghaziabad has notified that every generator needs to segregate waste into four streams (concrete, soil, wood and plastics, and bricks and mortar) at premises,” according to the report.