Most Indian cities have problems in disposing their waste but some have managed to benefit from it by setting power plants and bio-gas plants. When will the planners of Bangalore wake up?
Frustrated by the inaction and at most times by inadequate clearing methods, Bangalore, the Silicon capital of India has degenerated into a garbage city from its premier position as the
Garden City of India, said, MLA, Ramalinga Reddy while addressing a large crowd of irate denizens of Bangalore in front of the Total Mall recently.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mananagara Palike, also known popularly as BBMP, is responsible for the collection and disposal of the city’s garbage, estimated to be around 5,000 tonnes per day!
This waste comes in various forms and shapes. It consists of wet waste (kitchen waste like vegetable peals, stems, etc and left-over food; dry waste covers paper, plastic and other items of metal, unusable scrap; electronic waste appears in the form of batteries, CDs, cartridges, etc while bio-medical waste comes mostly from hospitals but includes items like diapers, sanitary napkins, blades, torn clothes, etc.
The city has been divided into 198 wards, each having a counsellor. A garbage contactor employs sweepers to collect the rubbish and sweep the roads, leaving the materials in suitable locations for the BBMP trucks to collect. The BBMP has some 18,000 pournakarmikas (staff!) to load and carry the same to drop them off in assigned landfills, located away from the city, at such places like Mavallipura, Mandur and Terra Firma in Doddaballapur.
The problem recently became acute due to the protests by residents in the landfill areas who blocked the routes to the locations, thus forcing the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to order closure of the site. And, the result was uncollected garbage lying all over the city, making Bangalore a stinking metropolis!
Discussions with experts, officials and environment specialists reveal that up to 50% of the daily household waste can be identified as “wet waste” that needs to be separated and can be processed into organic manure. Careless residents tend to mix up the wet waste with others making disposal of the garbage unmanageable, resulting in bad odour, stray dog nuisance and fertile ground for germs to grow, including mosquito menace, and the root cause for all sorts of seasonal diseases. If rains fall it creates a further mess.
It may recalled that India had received hundreds of container cargo, supposedly carrying scrap, but which turned out to be actually bringing in highly toxic materials into the country! It took quite a while before the government machinery could stop this nefarious practice, as shippers were simply untraceable.
Now, let us take a look at how the daily waste is disposed elsewhere in the country. It is estimated that India generates around 70 million tonnes of waste every day, but, we have still not got around to converting this into a usable media for power generation.
In Delhi, by the end of this year, the second waste-to-energy plant generating electricity will go on stream. These plants use most modern technology and the electricity produced at the Timarpur Okla plant is 16MW, while at Ghazipur the capacity is 10-12 MW. These plants generate power by burning the waste, while environmentalists argue and suggest that better ways would be to convert wet waste to compost for ecological reasons, thus benefiting by this method. But tackling this needs inherent cooperation from each and every household to take pains to separate wet and dry waste, and a good, organized collection agency is able to take care of it every day.
Despite the establishment of several solid waste-treatment plants in Kerala, protests by residents in the areas have made the working difficult. Yet, six biogas plants have managed to function but the waste management crisis in the state has become a major development issue.
Chennai has an estimated 4,000 tonnes per day garbage for disposal, which continue to be dumped at assigned landfills, though, recently, couple of multinational companies have proposed to set up a modular plant with a10,000 tonnes per day capacity. Several community-oriented past moves by Exnora International, Neel Metal Fanalch, and finally by Ramky Enviro Engineers, who have started working in January this year hope to keep the city as clean as possible.
Finally, in Pune, it has recently been reported, that Pune Municipal Corporation has been able to rope in Corcord Blue Technology to handle about 1,400 tonnes of garbage that the city generates, and when the project is completed, it will be able to generate 10 MW of power every hour.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)
With MCX-SX pricing its charges most competitively for brokers, what would be the reaction of other exchanges? NSE, the most expensive, but the richest exchange is yet to react. If it does, a bloody price war would break out
With MCX Stock Exchange’s (MCX-SX) announcement to begin its operations around Diwali, its ‘attractive’ transaction fee structure for members trading in equity cash, futures and options segments, is out. The comparative analysis of charges of the three exchanges show that the overall costs for brokers at MCX-SX are nearly 50% lower than that of BSE and NSE.
Comparative transaction charges in Equity Cash Segment
In the cash segment, while NSE’s price is on the higher side, BSE and MCX-SX seem to be on par. BSE’s charges are uniform across value segments, and even more for active orders. Remember, BSE offers add-on incentives for trading higher volumes. Data collected by Moneylife in August 2012 indicated an incentivised trading volume of Rs3,420 crore by broker members of BSE.
Comparative transaction charges in Equity Futures Segment
In the equity futures segment, MCX-SX’s charges are sharply lower than that of NSE.
Comparative transaction charges in Equity Options Segment
Interestingly, it is in the options segment that MCX-SX has decided not to compete hard; it is the most expensive. It may be recalled that BSE has been trying to promote its volumes in the options segment. BSE is by far the cheapest but applies that rate to active orders only. BSE incentivises brokers for trading volume, open interest, quoting obligations and overall transactions. According to Joseph Massey, MD and CEO of MCX-SX, the exchange has kept its transactions charges lower in order to create a deeper market penetration. According to Mr Massey, the lower transaction fee allows members to enjoy the additional, notional capital released, that would otherwise be blocked.
Moneylife had earlier written about how BSE has sharply reduced its charges in order to attract volumes (http://www.moneylife.in/article/stock-exchanges-bses-gambit/27913.html ), and pointed out that BSE’s strategy of introducing lower costs as having a dual advantage. One, that BSE would take away business from the NSE in case the latter did not reduce charges. On the other hand, if NSE did, its huge profitability would suffer. In addition to that, BSE’s significantly lower charge structure was designed to raise entry the barrier for MCX-SX. But MCX-SX has now countered this with the most competitive charges in the market, except in the options segment where it has chosen to be expensive.
While BSE provides its brokers with incentives based on daily average trading volumes, MCX-SX, as of now, does not want to follow this strategy, said an MCX-SX spokesperson. MCX-SX has, however, decided to widen its membership reach. It has extended its membership offer to different categories of people, including rural entrepreneurs, which it claims, is expected to work towards financial inclusion.
A price war among the exchanges is brewing. It will be a matter of time before NSE reacts to MCX-SX’s pricing. It will impact the bottomline of all three players directly, mainly MCX-SX which is losing money from the currency options segment—all at a time when the business volumes are down and equities are widely seen to be unattractive.
Although the increase in diesel, LPG and kerosene prices was not listed on CCPA agenda, the Committee's meeting had been postponed without assigning any reason or fixing a new date
New Delhi: A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in India (CCPA), which could have decided on raising diesel and cooking fuel prices, was on Tuesday postponed even as Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy said the price increase was 'unavoidable', reports PTI.
The CCPA, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and includes ministers from allies of the UPA alliance, was scheduled to meet this evening but it was postponed without assigning any reason or fixing a new date.
Reddy said although the increase in diesel, cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene prices was not listed on the agenda, CCPA could have discussed the issue based on the revised note on the subject that his ministry had circulated to its members on Monday.
"As I said before, however painful and difficult the increase in price of oil product may be, increase is unavoidable. (To) what extent can consumer take (it) is another matter," he told reporters after meeting Finance Minister P Chidambaram before the announcement of CCPA meeting being postponed was made.
The double whammy of rising input cost (crude oil prices) and fall in value of rupee, which has made imports costlier, would mean that oil PSUs would end the fiscal with a huge Rs1.88 lakh crore revenue loss on selling fuel below cost, he said.
"If it (price hike) is not taken up today, decisions may have to postpone by few days. However I would like to tell the people (that) the increase in price is unavoidable. We will have to perform our unpleasant duty," Reddy said.
Diesel and cooking fuel rates have not been revised since June last year even as oil companies also sell deregulated petrol at a price which is almost Rs6 a litre less than its cost.
"I can't say to what extent price rise will be. If I had the power it would had been done yesterday. I don't know if it will happen today or tomorrow or a week later," he said.
While diesel prices have not been revised since June last year, petrol rates were last hiked in July.
Reddy said he had on Monday circulated an updated version of a note detailing the crisis created by the rise in crude oil prices and fall in value of rupee against the US dollar to members of the CCPA.
Besides the Prime Minister and Chidambaram, the CCPA includes Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Defence Minister AK Antony, NCP leader and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal and Railway Minister Mukum Roy.
"We had circulated a note to all members of CCPA about the problem of increasing under-recoveries (revenue loss on fuel sales)... the under-recoveries will exceed Rs 1.88 lakh crore (this fiscal)," he said. "And prices (are) going up further at the global level; rupee is not softening."
On his meeting with Chidambaram, Reddy said he had "routine interactions" on various proposals but declined to elaborate. "We discussed the figures relating to under-recoveries," he added.
PSU oil firms are losing a record Rs560 crore per day on the sale of regulated diesel and cooking fuels, and another Rs 16 crore a day on petrol.
They are losing about Rs 6 per litre on sale of petrol, a commodity which was freed from government control in June 2010 but whose rates haven't moved in tandem with the cost.
They sell diesel at a loss of Rs19.26 a litre, kerosene at Rs34.34 per litre and domestic LPG at Rs347 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
"I can't take decision (on raising prices) only on the basis of economic facts. We are operating in a political economy. We will have to take a balanced view," he said.