4 Reasons Why Pune Scores in Waste Management
All of India’s metropolises are grappling with problems of pollution, poor air quality, no sewage treatment and inadequate solid waste disposal. We ignore the issues until they suddenly erupt in the form of frequent fires at overused dumping grounds (Mumbai), lakes frothing with toxic foam that hit the streets or mass death of fish (Bengaluru), cities being flooded (Chennai) or having to resort to extreme traffic restraints (Delhi). Most of this is a result of economic prosperity and soaring land values which have led to indiscriminate infrastructure building by openly flouting rules or even no serious rule-making. Growing prosperity also means a sharp spike in waste generation by individual families. 
 
The entire gamut of these issues is high on the agenda of prime minister Narendra Modi’s in various forms—the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Clean Ganga project, or the drive to build toilets or plan to build smart cities with well-planned infrastructure. The task is humungous and needs change at the local level where multiple political equations and entrenched corruption comes into play. But some cities have managed to beat the problem, while the bigger ones struggle. Let’s consider just one example. 
 
While it may not rank among India’s cleanest cities as yet, Pune, which is now a part of the PM’s Smart Cities initiative, has made big strides in improving its solid waste management problems, in recent years. The success of the ‘Pune model’ of solid waste management (SWM) is often discussed by Mumbai activists and concerned citizens. On 9th July, a dozen-odd activists, engineers, journalists and concerned citizens visited Pune (a self-paid, independent trip) to figure out why it is doing better than Mumbai. The visit included an overview of Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC’s) activities and a visit to Noble Exchange Environment Solutions Pvt Ltd (NEX) which converts bulk food waste into bio-fuel that will soon power Pune’s public transport buses, in a shining example of converting waste to wealth.
 
What we found is an effort to reduce the waste going to landfills and greenhouse gas emission that needs to be expanded and amplified in cities across the country, with some fine-tuning for local characteristics. What has triggered the push for better SWM is also important; but is not the subject of this column. 
 
Here are four things that seem to be working in Pune where the integrated SWM effort has ensured high (50%-55%) segregation at source in a city that generates 1600-1700mtd (metric tonnes a day) of waste every day.
  1. Right Man for the Job: Committed and dynamic individuals drive change. In Pune, joint municipal commissioner, Suresh Jagtap is the driving force and seems totally committed to the 4Rs (reduction, reuse, recycle and recover) of sustainable development. Concerned Punekars acknowledge that there is genuine ‘stakeholder engagement’ and accountability that extends from rag-pickers’ collectives, to NGOs, citizens’ groups, educational institution and elected corporators. This is through increased transparency and a third-party audit by three educational institutions who produce a well publicised colour-coded monthly scorecard on how each corporator’s constituency has fared on the SWM front. 
     
  2. Multiple Solutions: PMC has combined an integrated approach with a decentralised waste management strategy that encourages NGOs and private sector participation. It has 25 decentralised bio-methane plants which produce 600kw of electricity and compost; the 300tpd NEX plant that converts food waste to bio-CNG, 300TPB (total plumbum) vermi-compost and compost projects (Ajinkya Biofert and Disha), and the Rochem Separation Systems which processes mixed waste to produce 300tpd producing RDF (refuse derived fuel). It also has 13 smaller composting plants. Townships such as the unique Magarpatta City in Pune also take pride in being near-zero garbage as just a part of its focus on eco-sustainability. Key to efficient waste sorting and collection are large organisations such as SWACH (Solid Waste Handlers and Collectors’ Society), at the ground level.
     
  3. Incentives & Fees: Segregation of waste has been made mandatory for all residents with the levy of user charges. At the same time, there is a 5% tax rebate for those who have onsite waste disposal facilities. PMC makes it a point to highlight and celebrate those who adopt innovative solutions and practices in SWM and sanitation, through awards and recognition. 
     
  4. Public-private Partnership: Part of Pune’s success in waste management is its ability to persuade, and work with, private CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives such as the Adar Poonawalla Clean City Movement (APCCM) which pledged Rs100 crore to the city’s waste management efforts. The NEX project, including the land, is fully funded by APCCM; in addition, it has contributed to awareness building, welfare measures for grassroots workers and providing litterbins and mechanised cleaning at specific public spots. The model is working well so far; the process of recycling waste to recover energy is complete. 
 
For Pune, India’s eighth largest city, the challenge now is to prevent slippages in standards already set and to work on plans for efficient disposal of electronic waste, biomedical waste, construction waste and sanitary hygiene products more effectively. Its achievements are best seen in contrast with more resourceful Mumbai which has yet to come up with a sensible plan to reduce garbage and litter in public spaces, enforce segregation at the household level, or even act on easy-to-do bits like collection and reduction of bulk food waste, let alone biomedical and e-waste. 
 
Pune is on track to become a smart city while Mumbai has come up with a 20-year development plan which is full of shocking holes, despite two iterations. 
 
While Pune is involved in a scientific closure and beautification of its 30-hectare dumping site at Urali Devachi, Mumbai has yet to find a solution to repeated fires at the 132 hectares of dumping ground at Deonar where 6,550 metric tonnes of unsegregated garbage, silt and bio-medical waste are dumped every day. Pune’s DBOT (develop build operate and transfer) project, NEX, started producing 45tpd of bio-CNG and 150 tonnes of organic manure at its Talegaon plant, based on the anaerobic digestion system in exactly 11 months after it was awarded the contract. The municipal corporation’s responsibility was to ensure collection of food waste from bulk producers such as hotels and markets and to provide 15,000 sq ft of space for the first-stage sorting, segregation and making a slurry. The actual processing is done at the 5-acreTalegaon plant owned by NEX and Pune’s municipal buses will soon use the fuel generated.
 
In contrast, Mumbai’s second ‘scientific’ dumping ground at Kanjurmarg (67 acres) has provided land to a contractor free of charge, but has yet to convert methane into electricity and has been mired in litigation and controversy, for over a decade. Operating in the same political environment, with the municipal corporation controlled by an opposition party, Pune seems to have found a way to get past political issues through greater transparency. Mumbai, which has an ally of the ruling party controlling the municipal corporation, cannot usher in even basic transparency in handing out contracts to tackle issues such as waste management or potholed roads which can bring cities to a standstill, and destroy years of development in a natural calamity.
 
PMC is controlled by National Congress Party which is not exactly known for delivering great governance. On the other hand, governance, cleanliness, smart cities are among the biggest promises of PM Narendra Modi. Maybe the prime minister’s office can push other cities to learn from Pune’s success on the SWM front and implement the model in a time-bound manner.
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    COMMENTS

    svgopal

    4 years ago

    My compliments to PMC and the team for such an innovative green environment initiative. Such things should be published on front pages of newspapers and media should give wider publicity. Hope Mumbai and other cities will replicate the same.

    Saurabh Shah

    4 years ago

    Combination of good administrators and responsible citizens has helped Pune emerge as a leader in SWM. Unfortunately, Mumbai lacks both.

    HARSHAD J KAMDAR

    4 years ago

    We at Save Bombay Committee have been asking for a decentralised Solid Wastw Management for a long time.
    We feel smaller cities and towns where the problems are small can be given incentives to start on this project and be guided to make it a sucess.
    With increase in urbanisation there is need to set up an institution to teach Urban SWM. This will go a long way to provide trained man-power for this problem haunting our urban universe

    Country's first e-court opened at Hyderabad High Court
    India's first e-court was Sunday opened at High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, which is the common high court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
     
    Inaugurating the e-court, Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur said Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were first two states in the country to be chosen for Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) project.
     
    While noting that the two states made lot of progress in technology, he said it was one of the reasons for the decision to launch the ICJS, a "system which is going to integrate police stations with the courts, with jails, with the prosecution and with the forensic science laboratories".
     
    Justice Lokur, who heads the e-Committee of the Supreme Court, said modalities of the system will be worked out at a meeting scheduled on July 28, and he was impressed with the e-court at Hyderabad High Court.
     
    "It is not only the e-court in the sense it is fully computerised but it also a paperless court. We spent few minutes understanding the system and I tried my hand at using the technology. It's extremely user friendly.
     
    I will encourage all judges to try it," he said
     
    "During this coming week I am going to try and introduce this in Supreme Court as well. If it happens in the Supreme Court, you (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh high court) can take all credit for it," he said.
     
    Stating that technology today is much better, he exuded confidence that all judges will be able to use it easily. He hoped that there will be more e-courts in near future.
     
    Justice Lokur said a huge amount of progress has been made in this high court over couple of years due to the keen interest taken by the chief justice.
     
    "Things dramatically changed over last 3 or 4 years. The team effort led to this change. The e-committee trying to supplement this team effort," he added.
     
    He said the purpose of e-courts was to ensure speedy justice for the litigants. He stressed the need to appoint staff for paperless courts and advised judges to focus on online data entry.
     
    High court incharge Chief Justice Dilip B. Bhosale, judges of the high court and senior officials were present.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    manoharlalsharma

    4 years ago

    Each and Every thing available on e...but,ask the conman citizen how far he can able to coup with system?so my humble request is to get educated people first.

    When Aadhaar was about to make me 'Niradhaar'
    I have been hearing about problems of identifying a person through the Aadhaar number system. However, my touching faith in the integrity and capability of India's information technology (IT) professionals made me believe that the technological solution must be very sound and the errors if any would be negligible. 
     
    My friends Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey had told me that workers who work with their hands have their thumbs getting worn out and hence being deprived of their legitimate rations, pensions and other entitlements. I had again believed that these might be rare occurrences, which were being anecdotally described. I have been aware that Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu at Moneylife have also been highlighting serious concerns on Aadhaar. I trust and have great faith in all these friends but felt that they were perhaps picking holes in one of the greatest technological feat of India for small discrepancies.
     
    However, a few days ago, my personal experience altered my perception, and I think there may be serious flaws, which are being wished away. I have taken my Aadhaar number in the last three years, and have only shown it or quoted the number sometimes. I do not wash clothes or do manual work, which could lead to my fingerprints changing. 
     
    My bank,-HDFC Bank- said I must get my know-your-customer (KYC) documentation re-done. They said my Aadhaar number would serve the purpose. I gave them my Aadhaar number and they asked me to put my thumb on a small device. I could see my thumb impression on a screen. However, the system refused to validate me! 
     
    The bank employee asked me to try again and we did this over six times with the same result. The bank employee told me that this happens very frequently with many customers. Most of these customers would not be working with their hands, and yet the system of Aadhaar verification was not working. 
     
    I could do my KYC by giving other documents, but the horror of this hit me. If the system cannot recognise people from its database with the thumb impression, what would happen to those whose foodgrains, pension or employment guarantee scheme (EGS) wages depend on it?  
     
    I think there is an urgent need to check over a large sample of maybe 10,000 people in different places to validate whether the system does what is claimed. Otherwise, we will only have a pretension of having a system to identify every individual in the country. It is necessary that the truth be revealed by actual verification of a large sample across different parts of the nation. 
     
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    COMMENTS

    Ramakishore Boindala

    2 years ago

    My mother aged 89 yrs drawing pension from AP subtreasury Kurnool since 5 yrs. Every year we have been submitting her Annual Verification Certificate attested by a Gazzetted officer . This year AP Govt. insisted upon sending Digital Annual Verification Certificate through AP Treasury portal matching the finger prints with Aadhaar . Since my mother is bedridden we cannot take her to any nearby agency that captures the finger prints and generate AVC . As there is an option to do the same at home with specified finger print scanners we have purchased one such device and tried to capture her middle finger print since all other fingers have worn out to obtain consecutive finger prints . But whatever finger print we captured when tried to match with Aadhaar it gives a message MISMATCH . Now we have no other option left . With no Digital Verification we cannot submit AVC which means my mother will not get her pension from Next month . Since I am also retired I don't know how I will have to manage her Medical expenses and other consumables for my aged mother . What responsibility the AP Govt. is going to take for all those old people who cannot submit the Digital Certificate due to old age or mismatch of Biometrics. I sent letters to Sub-treasury Kurnool as well as Directorate of treasuries AP at Ibrahimpatnam Vijayawada and also an email to [email protected] but no response so far . While they allow swindlers like VijayMallya to go scot-free they take extra precautions to give a meager pensions to old people who are not in a position to move about. Who can stand for them .

    REPLY

    Sucheta Dalal

    In Reply to Ramakishore Boindala 2 years ago

    Sir . Aadhar is not yet mandatory and daily hearings are on in the supreme court. If you insist forcefully and check formats for written objection, they will certainly accept it this year for sure. We dont know what will happen after the SC judgement.

    M Haridas

    In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 2 years ago

    My Q has remained unanswered. First has all the bank accounts , Fix Deposits, Bank Lockers, Policies, Shares, Bonds and Debentures starting from President , PM, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, MLAs, CMs, Guvs, Lt Guvs, Ambanis, Adanis, Godrej, Tata , CMD downward of all PSU/ Pvt banks, CVC, CEC, CIC, RBI guv and their own staff have been linked with Aadhar? Have Big Bee, King Khan, Bharat Ratna Sachin and such others have their Aadhar linked to their bank accounts, policies incl their Foreign Accounts in the National Interests? We know now that 1% of Ambanis, Adanis, Tata, Neera, Big Bees etc holding 78% of the national wealth. And they are the ones having govt at the centre and even in the states buy election bond Benami IN THE NATIONAL INTERESTS and give those bonds benami to their loyal kutte kawe tote myne political parties. They only get contract killers to kill Judge Loya or Gauri Lankesh and hence are exempted from any such pitli Aadhar Linking. There is no National Interest. It has a hidden agenda or else how could RJio could have been so confident that they got PM 's photo for advt and gave Free SIM against Aadhar Card. If SC ( i do not think SC judges are anything better than our corrupt spineless politicians, bureaucrats, Tota, Myna, Kutte, Kawe , gives an adverse order on Aadhar what will happen to more than crore RJio SIM which are issued against Aadhar only. This Modi Govt, not for National Security blah blah blah is fighting for Ambani's interest and ready to buy Judges for giving them lucrative post retirement jobs. We must get united against Nexus between Ambanis, Political Executives and even our LordSheeeeeps..they are the Enemies Within.

    M Haridas

    2 years ago

    What exactly Aadhar link to my bank ac wll do? I have 4 savings bank ac, one current bank ac and 12 Term Deposit ac. If i go by the Govt order and the SMS being sent by my banks and my Mobile / Landline operators i am bound to link each one with Aadhar. Pause. A few years down the line when my LPG connection was shifted from Army Supply Depot LPG Agency to one Ms Anuradha at Karkhana Secbad and subsidy was directly linked to my saving ac i gave this very mob no and my Pension savings ac no for direct transfer. It was wkg fine. But since this hungama was created my subsidy is being paid atleast two of my savings ac alternatively or in the most adhoc manner. Who is manning this? How my subsidy is getting paid in one ac which is not listed with LPG company / govt. It is already messed up. For bank it is the PAN which matters. If PAN cards were issued more than one to one indv it can be rectified if the intention is not politicking.

    Anupam Naik

    4 years ago

    I have similar experience twice when in my case Aadhar biometrics failed. While renting my place the leave & license agreement could not be signed by me as the machine refused to accept my signature and I had to manage with the power of attorney. Also when we wanted to take a flat on rent, this happened again.

    What is to be done? Are we supposed to give hand print periodically and if it is so, where?

    At present for me it is just like PAN, nothing less or nothing more. Wherever and whenever biometrics tests for Aadhar will be done, I am sure to fail.

    I do not have to work with the hand like manual labour but they say with the advancing age this can happen. For the time being until a solution emerges, God only knows.

    Param

    4 years ago

    i have been asked multiple times why i don't have aadhar card. my reply is very simple - it was meant to track subsidies & i'm not availing any subsidy, then why is it mandated for me? every time i stuck to my stand, they came up with some other workaround to get the job done. i wonder how long i can sustain!!!

    Sudhir Singh

    4 years ago

    Every new technology or system has its own challenges. If there are weakness in Adhaar system they need to be removed and system made stronger. However, the application and is is in our national interest. Biometric is not limited to finger print only. Giants like Apple and Google will be using their technology soon to authenticate users by biometric. The choice soon will be whose system we use, our own home grown or become a colony of US companies. The globe is going to be digital soon. We do not have a choice to be left out of it. We have only one choice, to make our systems stronger and protect our people using technology.

    Suresh Joshi

    4 years ago

    In the year 2011 i was enrolled however thru an oversight instead of male gender they have enrolled me as a Female.On return i found this mistake and rushed to the centre to correct this anomoly and accordingly the rectification was done and given the copy of the same.In the year 2013 i received the Aadhaar card without any correction.Then I contacted the UID by e-m and the correction sheet was filled and sent Hyderabad centre for correction but till today i have yet to receive the card.My Aadhaar no is no more valid.Their phone lines are not operating.What a person under the cicumstances can DO!!

    Suresh Joshi

    4 years ago

    In the year 2011 i was enrolled however thru an oversight instead of male gender they have enrolled me as a Female.On return i found this mistake and rushed to the centre to correct this anomoly and accordingly the rectification was done and given the copy of the same.In the year 2013 i received the Aadhaar card without any correction.Then I contacted the UID by e-m and the correction sheet was filled and sent Hyderabad centre for correction but till today i have yet to receive the card.My Aadhaar no is no more valid.Their phone lines are not operating.What a person under the cicumstances can DO!!

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