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India needs $ 5 bn annually to manage urban solid waste: ASSOCHAM-EY

May 2019
A recent joint study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst & Young (EY) states that $ 5 billion is required every year to implement the PPP model for municipal solid waste management in Indian cities. 
 
The study titled, The Big “W” impact: Effective Urban Waste Management Solutions in India, suggested the need for a comprehensive and forward-looking policy to accelerate a paradigm shift towards modern and healthy urban living.
 
“We need appropriate policy prescriptions to ensure waste management should be an important part of the economic cycle,” says the report, adding that besides toilet construction and eliminating open defecation, it would be a value add if there is increased focus on waste management under the Government’s flagship programme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. “There is a need to develop in-house financial and managerial capability to award contracts to the private sector and monitor the services provided, since the responsibility to ensure proper service delivery and compliance of standards remains with the local bodies,” the report recommends.
 
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is an appropriate case for the PPP mode for India as urban local bodies (ULBs) alone are not strong, financially or technically, to manage solid waste. Noting that disposal of millions of tonnes of untreated garbage by municipal bodies is a problem waiting for a prompt and feasible solution to avoid major health issues and environmental degradation, the study says India’s waste predicament presents numerous social and environmental challenges for ULBs, whose responsibilities include MSWM.
 
The study highlights that segregation and storage of MSW at source is a major problem in India and decomposable and non-decomposable squanders are frequently disposed of at regular collective dustbins or dumps. “Collection efficiencies are observed to be poor, at around 70 per cent in most Indian urban areas, and keep on being overwhelmingly manual in nature,” it notes. It recommends that emerging technologies such as blockchain, which is a decentralised technology disrupting the energy, climate and environmental sectors across the globe, be inducted in sanitation as well.