The environment ministry has revised solid waste management rules and has extended the ambit of the regulations beyond municipal areas to cover urban agglomerations, census towns, notified industrial townships, areas under the control of Indian Railways, airports, airbase, port and harbour, defence establishments, special economic zones, State and Central government organisations, places of pilgrims, religious and historical importance.
The revision of solid waste management comes after a gap of 16 years, minister of state (independent charge) of environment, forest and climate change, Prakash Javadekar said while announcing the new rules at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The minister pointed out that 62 million tonnes of waste is generated annually in the country at present, out of which 5.6 million tonnes is plastic waste, 0.17 million tonnes is biomedical waste and 15 lakh tonnes of e-waste while 7.90 million tones of waste generated is hazardous for health and environment.
The per capita waste generation in Indian cities ranges from 200 grams to 600 grams per day, he added.
At present, 43 million TPA of this waste is collected, of which 11.9 million is treated and 31 million is dumped in landfill sites. This means that only about 75-80 per cent of the municipal waste gets collected and only 22-28 per cent of this waste is processed and treated. ''Waste generation will increase from 62 million tonnes to about165 million tonnes in 2030'', Javadekar pointed out.
The minister said that the new rules put the onus of segregation of waste into three categories – wet, dry and hazardous waste - on those generating the waste. He added that the waste generators will have to pay 'user fee' to the waste collector and a 'spot fine' for littering and non-segregation, the quantum of which will be decided by the local bodies.
Javadekar emphasised that the government is keen on the integration of ragpickers from the informal sector to the formal sector. The environment minister also highlighted that in case of hilly areas, land for construction of sanitary landfills in the hilly areas will be identified in the plain areas, within 25 km.
He said the new rules mandate setting up of waste processing facilities by all local bodies having 1 million or more population within two years. In case of census towns below 1 million population, setting up common, or stand-alone sanitary landfills by, or for all local bodies having 0.5 million or more population and for setting up common, or regional sanitary landfills by all local bodies and census towns under 0.5 million population will have to be completed in three years.
The government has also constituted a central monitoring committee under the chairmanship of secretary, ministry of environment, forest and climate change to monitor the overall implementation of the rules. The committee comprises officials of the urban development ministry, rural development ministry, chemicals and fertilizers ministry, agriculture ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board, three state pollution control boards / pollution control committees, urban development departments of three state governments, rural development departments from two state governments, three urban local bodies, two census towns, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and two subject experts. The committee will meet once a year to monitor the implementation of these rules.