Waste Management - A menace & Burning problem for the Nation
Waste Management is the worst menace India faced in the recent time.There had been many cases of Epidemics like
Dengue Fever which affected people all over india.A clean Environment is the right of people.in the recent past
there were many unified protests and Agitation all over India .Perhaps after corruption and Increase in Fuel prices
protest against waste had been the topic of concern all over India in recent times.Altthough there were a few cases
of Judicial interference and consequent remedy measures,the acute problem still remains unsolved and is likely to
become a matter of crisis unless State and Central Government afford priority with a view to ensuring a clean
environment for the future Generation.
Unlike India ,all the advanced Nations of the World have arrangements to remove Industrial and Domestic waste and
treat them in Waste management Plants.The Government should stop the attitude of not wasting time on a matter of
waste and instead take steps on a war footing to ensure the good Health conditions of the people
Recently in Kerala a big agitation had to be staged against Waste management in Trivandrum.The story is briefly as
Since July 2000,a major portion of waste in the Trivandrum city was being sent to waste composing plant In a
place called vilappilsala where there was a dumping site also.Later on,Respiratory illness increased in the
village.It was reported that there was an increase of cases of Respiratory Disorders from by 10%.this was
attributed towards the bad smell and infections caused by the Garbage waste dumped.Many connected health problems
were found to have become a routine matter in the area.It was also proved that there were not a single family in
the area who were not affected by Respiratory illness.The villagers began to prevent the waste truck reaching the
area for treatment in waste Processing plant.The agitation by the villagers found result.The transportation by
trucks had to be stopped.This also resulted in the accumulation of Garbage wastes in the streets ofTrivandrum city.
When authorities started interfering with dumping of waste in streets using law enforcement forces,people began to
dump the waste in plastic covers in the jungles on the road side during the dark hours of night.The corporation
began using cameras in many areas to find the lawbreakers .But this did not prevent the issue.Later on the
Municipal corporations enforcesd various measures like insisting on Waste management plants in houses The use of
plastic was banned .Inspite of all these measures the problem of waste management still continues.
A similar situation arose in the Town of Thrissur also.The garbage waste and other plastic waste were being dumped
in a village called Lalur.
This was a system started by the Royal Kings more than 60 years ago and was being continued since then to the
Since1983 many Agitations were staged .But there had been no permanent solution until now.
Virtually Lalur became a Wastebowl of the city of Thrissur ( picture below is relevant)
The Municipal corporation insisted some procedure by providing waste management plants at concessional subsidy
rates.some buildings in the city have introduced this plants .But the personnel supposed to reach the buildings to
burn the wastes do not appear regularly.They, however,claim their monthly payments from residents.Many residents
have since discontinued their services and began burning in the Terrace of their buildings themselves.
Besides this,burning wastes on streets continues.Every year when the biggest festival of the city called "Thrissur
Pooram" approaches the Municipal corporation used to introduce a cleaning drive .This is because the event is an
important occasion when International tourists also arrive in plenty in the city.So the Thrissur residents also get
a relief from the bad smell in the city for some time until next Pooram arrives.
Thus the waste management programs still remains without any proper and permanent solution.
The cases in respect of other corporations like Kochi,Kozhikode,Kannur and major cities in the state are not much
different from Trivandrum and Thrissur.
similar situation was prevailing in Karnataka state also for sometime.
In Bangalore ,the capital of theState of Karnataka ,things were a little more serious.The beautiful streets of once
upon a time Bangalore were spread with bad smelling garbage waste for months together as a matter of ceremony for
people to watch and enjoy.As a result the Municipal commissioner was removed from his office and replaced by
another person to address the debacle on the road.
Against the will of Local residents,A Landfill which was closed based on a report of pollution control department
Had to be reopened as the city could not locate another suitable Landfill place. The action had to be taken to
satisfy the public who staged an Agitation which was very much reasonable as there was threat of epidemic also in
SRINAGAR IN jammuKashmir:
It was reported that the threat of Raby was worst in Srinagal as there were cases of more than 50,000 people
bitten by Stray Dogs in 3to 4 years as compared to lesser figures in Bombay and Chennai.The Stray dogs were
roaming over dumping sites of Municipal waste.
In India More than 20,000 people were reported to have been killed from rabies from Dogbites every year.
West Bengal: Dengu Fever:
Prior to 2012,there had been acute cases of Dengu fever in India and particularly in Kolkotta where alone 550
cases were reported out of which 60 people were dead.During the same period in Mumbai also Malaria fever was spread
In many areas.All these were the result of improper Waste Management in cities.The accumulation of rain water
in non biodegradable Waste littered all over The cities as a result of which low lying areas of the cities became
the breeding ground for Mosquitos.This also resulted in the increase in manyfold the mosquito density in cities.
This made it easier for the spreading of Malaria,Dengu and yellow fever all over the different cities of India.
In villages and interior parts of the country the disasters relating to this kind of epidemic were less as people
were able to find their own arrangements to dump wastes in their own land by digging the earth.
While this kind of diseases were increasing on one side the authorities were blinking helpless on the other side to
find a permanent solution for the menace.
The inability to provide solution to the waste management problem was not a feature in Kerala,Karnataka,chennai,
Jammu and Kashmirm & West Bengal alone.This problem exists in almost all cities of India.
However,there is one city New Delhi, which deserve special mention,to find solution for the problem of waste
Management.Sinnce 2011 Delhi alone is one city in which a plant which can convert waste to Energy (WTE) was
established.The government of Delhi and the Municipal corporation deserved all praises for this effort.
1300 Tons of waste went to this plant on a day to day basis to convert it into Electricity.
The laudable and Tremendous dual success of this project gave room for suggestions to introduce the system in other
cities also.But the proposals, it seems ,are still sleeping in papers alone.
The Trivandrum and Thrissur corporations introduced Biogas plants on subsidy basis.The other corporations also are
trying their best.
Even though the nation is going ahead with various measures like court orders and consequent processes and
different measures of burning wastes even in streets ,there does not appear to have any definite solution for the
problem anywhere except Delhi.
Thecurrent Status of the Waste Management in India is in no way adequate to meet the need Of the cities.In fact
the crisis has deteriorated after the Agitations in different places.
In 2000 the waste management Rules were introduced by the Ministry of Environment and Forests with a view to
handling and managing Municipal Solid waste.However,most of the cities in India have not complied with the
provisions of these Rules and instead Open dumping,open burning besides Landfil ( dumping sites)fires are being
continued every where.As a result,human and animal exposure to Waste have become common.This leads to Various
Environmental Hazards such as air,water( ground and surface),soil pollutions besides odor nuisance
This also involves in the increase of the worst carriers of viruses and infection such as Rats,mosquitoes,stray
dogs and monkeys.
The only solution for the waste accumulation and it's management ,it would appear,is to introduce the Waste to
Energy ( WET) plants of the Delhi Model in all cities of India.This not only helps in disposing the Waste but
Enables generation of additional electric energy.The introduction ofvthis kind of Waste tot Energy plants all over
India is indeed an extremely costly affair.But Central and State Governments will have to find funds by bringing
up drastic reforms in the Economic Affairs.India is not a Nation without sufficient natural resources.Diverting
the resources in the right direction is what is needed in India today.
The centre recently introduced a project of " Swach Abhiyan".But the problem in India is that while the Government
Is very much enthusiastic in introducing projects with photo sessions for publicity ,the implementation of the
projects for the benefit of people is not properly monitored with the result that the benefits do not reach the
Similarly, in the matter of protection of Environment which is an acute need of the nation,the efforts from the
government ends with planting some saplings and watering it on the morning of Environment day besides taking
photographs for publicity
Until and Unless seriously thought of and implemented strictly,the burning issues of Waste Management & protection
of Environment are not going to materialize for the benefit of the people of India.India is a Democracy which
believes in OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE and BY THE PEOPLE.
20th of July 2015
(NB: For the figures in this blog indebtedness is for the WTERT Council of India ,Bombay)