Solid waste and Swachh Hyderabad

Published on May 20, 2015 01:08:08 AM

It is more than enough if the GHMC does its elemental job with sincerity.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s assurance on Tuesday regarding provision of two plastic garbage bins for each house in the city to enable segregation of wet and dry wastes is welcome. It is now for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to back it up with real good work on a regular basis to spruce up Hyderabad.

The civic body must address the shortage of vehicles reported in many areas, though the government’s promise to provide 2,000 auto trolleys would come in handy for some youth engaged in moving garbage to collection centres on the outskirts.

The GHMC, tasked to place orders within 45 days for garbage bins and vehicles to transport wastes, must involve not just experts holding briefs for private companies, but also representatives of associations of various colonies, NGOs and activists working to protect the city’s heritage and distinct character.

According to estimates of experts, urban India generates about 1.5 lakh tonnes of wastes per day, with the per capita waste generation in major cities ranging from 0.20 kg to 0.6 kg. This being so, the collection efficiency ranges between 70% and 90% in major metro cities, whereas in smaller cities the collection efficiency is below 50%. This reflects the shocking fact that hardly any attention is given to scientific and safe disposal of waste.

The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, prescribe the manner in which the authorities need to undertake collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of the municipal solid wastes.

What is lacking is administrative competence to plug loopholes and political will to implement transparent measures so that solid waste management is not treated as a bugbear. It is more than enough if the GHMC does its elemental job with sincerity.