EDMC targets 100% waste segregation
Takes Multiple Steps Before 2nd Phase Of Audit
New Delhi: Learning lessons from the past, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has taken several measures to improve the waste management in east Delhi.
In its last audit, which covered 60 out of 469 colonies, The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) had found that 62% households were not segregating their waste and 71% either handed over the waste to the informal sector or disposed them at vacant plots and dhalaos. The situation was worse in market areas where 78% establishments did not segregate their waste. Teri had even identified a number of behavioural and administrative gaps in waste management and put forward several recommendations.
Ahead of the second phase of assessment, EDMC has taken several measures, including arranging for 13 decentralised composting machines with one tonne capacity each, appointing three NGOs for training waste collectors, integrating 700 waste collectors and starting the process of establishing material recovery centres.
A senior official from the department of environment management services (DEMS) said that they have worked upon the action plan and fixed deadlines for ensuring 100% segregation of waste at source in all the 64 wards in a phased manner.
“Work will be completed in three wards — Mayur Vihar-I, Anand Vihar and Yamuna Vihar — in a month. These were identified in May on NGT’s direction and Teri is carrying a separate audit of these three wards to verify our claims,” he said.
Awareness drives and meetings with RWAs have started in nine other wards. Plan is to cover 16 wards by October 2. “We have kept December 1 as the deadline to reach out to market and trader associations in all 64 wards considering that NGT has given March 31 as deadline for accomplishing target of segregation at source in EDMC area,” he said.
Standing committee chairman Sandeep Kapoor said that EDMC is activating Safai Nigrani Samiti in wards. “Local RWAs are invited to come up with suggestions and share problems they face while influencing the people to segregate waste at source,” he said.
Chitra Mukherjee, head of advocacy and policy at Chintan (an NGO), however, said that just keeping bins in neighbourhoods is not enough. “The arrangements have to be a mix of large scale public awareness on the need of segregation as well as fiscal incentives. Constant monitoring is also required to ensure that the initial enthusiasm is not lost.”
Shashi Bhushan Pandit, general secretary of All India Ragpickers Union, said: “Civic agency claims that east Delhi generates 1,300 tonnes of waste every day and there are average 12,000 households in each ward. But the fact is that the EDMC fails to reach out to half of the houses. People dispose of waste through informal sector in these colonies or simply dump the garbage in drain or on roadside.”
“The civic agencies are merely working to improve Swachhta rankings or fulfil the court’s direction. They have no concrete action plan. How can incorporating 700 waste collectors in formal sector could be an achievement when thousands of waste collectors are working in areas of east Delhi. Also, they themselves are not ready to assist NGOs in setting up composting units,” he added.