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New rules for waste management soon

Indian cities would have to install proper municipal waste management systems within a limited timeframe, reports Chetan Chauhan.
Hindustan Times | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2008 01:11 AM IST

Indian cities would have to install proper municipal waste management systems within a limited timeframe. The environment ministry will make an amendment in the regulations to this effect.

Ministry’s secretary Meena Gupta said the government would soon announce amendments to the municipal solid waste management regulations, which will lay down effective and practicable guidelines and timeframes for waste management.

The ministry has completed the consultation process with different stakeholders on the new approach required to clean Indian cities. “We are in the process of finalising the amendments. The amendments will begin a paradigm shift in solid waste management,” she said.

In most cities in India, solid waste management means dumping it in the landfill sites. According to a recent study, only about 50 per cent of garbage is daily lifted from urban centers in India, thereby signifying the poor state of affairs in the municipal bodies. Lifting garbage is a primary responsibility of municipal bodies.

According to ministry sources, the government is looking at effective Public Private Partnership models for municipal waste management where the waste can be recycled to produce compost or electricity. Delhi has already worked on these lines and some other cities like Mumbai is working, the official said.

Gupta, speaking at a seminar on waste management at FICCI, said the government realises the importance of engaging the private sector in waste management operations. “Sustainable waste management is a concept that can materialise only if service delivery is linked to private sector,” she said.

Former environment secretary Prodipto Ghosh sought viable PPP models for operation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste on payment of user fees. He also wanted legal recognition to informal sector involved in collection and recycling of waste.

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