Decentralised debris processing first proposed in MMR 21 years ago, but Mumbai yet to get construction waste recycling plant: CSE report

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Aug 28, 2020 02:30 AM IST
Copy Link

Mumbai is yet to get its first operational debris recycling unit three years after the municipal corporation first proposed its inception, a report published on Wednesday by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Delhi, stated. Mumbai is among 40 cities across the country that is set to get the recycling units.

The report showed cities such as Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore, and Ahmedabad have at least one construction waste processing facility, operated either run by the civic body or on a public-private partnership.

The report has stated that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) was the first in India to come up with a decentralised solution for debris management in 1999 in Navi Mumbai, promoted by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (Yuva) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) Ltd. The collaboration led to 1,500 tonnes of recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste at Cidco Yuva Building Centre (CYBC). However, it was forced to shut down in 2012 after it failed to receive the policy or market support.

“The C&D initiative had originally started with Mumbai. But the scale of transformation that should have happened unfortunately broke down. While work may have started, it needs to be ramped up with a clear roadmap in terms of utilisation and resource recovery,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE.

In 2016, the Union environment ministry notified the C&D Waste Management Rules, which stipulated that permissions for new constructions or redevelopment will be granted only after local civic bodies develop their own plan to treat and recycle waste and private builders submit a waste management plan to the civic body and state pollution control board.

In February 2016, the Bombay high court (HC) imposed a two-year-old moratorium on new constructions in the city for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) failure to dispose C&D waste. The Supreme Court lifted the moratorium in March 2018.

By 2017, 53 cities were expected to set up recycling facilities to recover material from the waste but only 13 have done so till date. In 2017 itself, BMC had proposed recycling 95% of the city’s C&D waste. Of the 1,200 tonnes of C&D waste generated per day, BMC planned a 2.7 hectare recycling unit at Mulund to treat 1,140 tonnes of waste into sand, clay and bricks. Its construction was expected to commence in 2018 but never took off.

“Mumbai, with the richest urban local body, is still waiting to have an operational C&D waste recycling facility even after additional pressure from HC, which has issued multiple orders asking for urgent setting up of a C&D recycling facility in the city,” the CSE report highlighted.

BMC additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said tenders issued in 2017-18 did not get the right response from bidders. “On Tuesday, I took a detailed review and have directed that the tender be re-floated after amending some guidelines. We are hoping that fresh tenders will be uploaded over the next two weeks, and are expecting better participation from the private sector. We will act as a facilitator by providing an area to the contractor to set up a plant. If private land is available, then the plant can be set up by a private party, and we will pay a tipping fee for taking C&D waste to it.”

Kakani added that some sites had been earmarked at Deonar and Kanjur dumping grounds where C&D waste was being dumped.

“The quantity is not more than 300 tonnes per day this year during the lockdown as no major construction works were underway. Only demolition of dilapidated buildings has been the source of this waste,” he said.

Apart from starting a debris-on-call service (to identify illegal dumping of construction debris through complaints in 2015), BMC had also identified 14 sites (private areas) in MMR that were chosen to dump construction and demolition waste to ensure natural areas like river floodplains and mangrove patches were not used.

Chowdhury said Mumbai has a collection system but needs to establish a protocol to ensure segregation right from the construction site (into concrete, metal, plastic etc.), identify collection points, and then take it to a recycling plant to produce new material (paver blocks, tiles etc.).

“It needs to be brought back into construction to substitute naturally sourced material. This demands a circular economy that can turn C&D waste into a resource. The construction industry has to mandate that certain percentage of their building material needs to use recycled C&D waste,” she said.

Improper C&D waste collection direct source of air pollution

Heaps of concrete, bricks and metal waste from construction are choking water bodies, green areas and public spaces in cities

Toxic dust particles from the debris are polluting air, at a time when cities have to reduce their particulate pollution by 20-30% by 2024, under the ongoing National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

The Swachh Bharat Mission has recognised the need for C&D waste management. Ranking points for C&D waste management for Swachh Survekshan2021 have been doubled to 100 points, divided equally between management infrastructure and waste processing efficiency

The regions of Mumbai, Thane, Dombivli and other cities in the MMR have been witnessing a year-on-year increase in the concentration of particulate matter (PM) 10 (solid and liquid particles less than 10 microns suspended in the air) as a direct result of failure to control dust emissions from construction activities in MMR, transportation of C&D waste, condition of roads and ready-mix-concrete plants as major factors.


    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Prakash Padukone, SM Krishna and Narayana Murthy have been selected for the Kempegowda International Award.

    SM Krishna, Narayana Murthy, Prakash Padukone selected for Kempegowda Award

    Former Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, Infosys founder and IT industry veteran N R Narayana Murthy, and former badminton player Prakash Padukone, have been selected for the 'Kempegowda International Award', which has been instituted beginning this year. Karnataka Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also the Vice-President of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Heritage Area Development Authority, made an announcement to this effect on Saturday.

  • Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH (BHTC) launched its state-of-the-art, fully integrated manufacturing facility in Bhosari, Pune. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

    Bits’n’bytes: Know about startup, business news in Pune

    Rockwell Automation opens software development centre in Hinjewadi Rockwell Automation has inaugurated its new Software Development Centre (SDC) in Hinjewadi, Pune. The site enhances Rockwell Automation's global research and development capacity and will develop smart manufacturing software to help both local and global customers on their digital transformation journeys. Nearly one-third of Rockwell Automation's global software and control production operations management workforce is based in India.

  • Representational image.

    Maharashtra political crisis: Section 144 imposed in Mumbai

    Amid the reports of Shiv Sainiks allegedly ransacking the offices of rebel legislators, Mumbai Police on Saturday imposed section 144 of CrPC in the city. Shiv Sena workers protested against rebel MLAs of the party and burnt effigies outside the party office in Kharghar. Rebel party MLA Tanaji Sawant is one of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction and is currently camping in Guwahati, Assam.

  • Gaurav Bhatia (second from right) and Khyaati Jain (right), cofounders of ‘WPU RISE’. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

    Startup Mantra: Upskilling through online learning

    One such Pune-based EdTech company 'WPU RISE' (RISE Digital Learning Pvt Ltd) founded in April 2021 by Gaurav Bhatia and Khyaati Jain is wading through this 'crowded space' is upskilling and reskilling bachelors and working professionals by offering curated and specially designed online higher education and industry-relevant diploma, certification programmes and career assistance services. In the beginning… Bhatia is a serial entrepreneur and the chief business officer at RISE.

  • Ashok Chavan (File Photo/HT)

    Ex-Maha CM Ashok Chavan says this on new party to be floated by Sena rebels

    With the Eknath Shinde-led rebel faction of the Shiv Sena all set to announce a new party, the Shiv Sena Balasaheb, senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan on Saturday said no such group would be recognised until it gets a legal authorisation from the Maharashtra assembly speaker. The incumbent deputy speaker of the Nationalist Congress Party, Narhari Zirwal, is overseeing the responsibilities of the speaker.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, June 25, 2022