Di­verg­ing es­ti­mates

Gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates for con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion de­bris did not change between 2000 and 2010, while the real es­tate sec­tor ex­panded by 6-7% a year dur­ing the pe­riod

Down to Earth - - ANALYSIS -

The di­ver­gent gov­ern­ment fig­ures prompted Delhi non-profit Cen­tre for Sci­ence and En­vi­ron­ment (CSE) to do its own cal­cu­la­tion. It used data from three agen­cies. For cal­cu­lat­ing the amount of C&D waste gen­er­ated in 2013, it used es­ti­mates by Tech­nol­ogy In­for­ma­tion, Fore­cast­ing and As­sess­ment Coun­cil (TIFAC), a gov­ern­ment of In­dia agency. TIFAC says C&D waste gen­er­ated dur­ing a new con­struc­tion is 40-60 kg/square me­tre (sq m), dur­ing re­pairs is 40-50 kg/sq m and dur­ing de­mo­li­tion 300-500 kg/sq m.

For de­ter­min­ing the built-up area, CSE used McKin­sey & Com­pany's re­port, which says the to­tal built-up area in In­dia in 2013 was 13.75 bil­lion sq m. Of this, al­most 1 bil­lion sq m was con­structed in 2013 alone. This would have gen­er­ated 50 mil­lion tonnes of waste. Usu­ally one-third of build­ings get re­paired ev­ery year. This would have added an­other 193 mil­lion tonnes of C&D waste. As­sum­ing 5 per cent of build­ings un­dergo large-scale restora­tion/de­mo­li­tion a year, th­ese would gen­er­ate 288 mil­lion tonnes of waste. The to­tal adds up to 531 mil­lion tonnes. To es­ti­mate the area needed to dis­pose of this waste, CSE used cal­cu­la­tions done by the Kas­turi­ran­gan Task Force on Waste to En­ergy. The re­port says 400 hectares of land­fill is needed to dis­pose of one mil­lion tonnes of waste. Ac­cord­ing to this for­mula, In­dia would need a land­fill of 8.65 mil­lion hectares by 2030 to dis­pose of its C&D waste.

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