Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is seeing a revival in its fortunes. With the economy on the upswing, there is a sense of expectation in the city of dreams. Its burgeoning population, along with its transient population, has made it one of the largest cities in the country. To sustain its population, building requisite infrastructure has become top priority with large-scale construction aiming to transform the face of the city. Concurrently, waste management, a topic often brushed under the carpet, has come under the spotlight today owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Dr Pallavi Darade, Additional Municipal Commissioner (City), Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), shares the initiatives the corporation has undertaken to implement the mission. Darade elaborates upon the need to efficiently and effectively contain the perils of large-scale construction.
What are the steps and projects undertaken by MCGM in accordance with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?
The corporation has undertaken many initiatives for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and has decided to focus on the following key areas:
Solid waste management (SWM): House-to-house collection and segregation of dry and wet garbage; effective transportation, disposal and processing of garbage; regular cleaning of storm water drains.
Toilets: Identification of open defecation areas and planning for construction of public toilets in those areas; regular maintenance and repair of public toilets in slum areas through involvement of community in the areas; new construction of public toilets wherever required along with proper repair and maintenance on a regular basis; involvement of NGOs in Right to Pee movement, especially for women's toilets; construction of new separate toilets in schools for boys and girls as per the requirement and regular maintenance of these toilets.
Beautification: Regular cleaning of roads along with identification of important road stretches and ensuring cleanliness through zero tolerance for litter; ensuring proper maintenance of city furniture like benches, signage, painting of road dividers, zebra crossing.
Identification of areas with high footfall: Listing of areas like tourist places, approach roads to railway stations, gardens, playgrounds, markets and hospitals; special focus to these areas to ensure zero garbage at any given time by deploying additional manpower; areas identified on the basis of need for additional litter bins and the same provided on a priority basis; involvement of owners of commercial establishments for the cleanliness drive to ensure adjoining areas to their property are clean; banning the use of thin plastic bags below 50 microns.
What initiatives have been undertaken to increase public awareness towards the campaign?
Creating public awareness plays an important part in ensuring the success of the mission. School and college children along with other youth organisations will be roped in to generate public awareness on cleanliness. The corporation also intends to undertake the following measures:
Special focus on slum areas: MCGM has already started the cleanliness drive in slum areas under Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan (SMPA). Community-based organisations are being formed in these areas with 740 organisations already working including Safai Mitra. Continuous efforts will be undertaken to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in slum areas.
Shramdan by public and MCGM staff: The hours between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm every Saturday will be dedicated to shramdan by the public. Each electoral ward (227 wards in MCGM areas) has been identified for this programme. A suitable public place will be identified in advance and publicity will be carried out for the common public to congregate. MCGM will provide the required logistics on site. From 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm every Friday, the corporation will contribute to the campaign through shramdan in and around its office premises.
Public campaign: Radio jingles and TV spots will be developed for the cleanliness drive and print and social media will also be extensively used for the same. Suitable IEC material will be developed for which the expression of interest (EoI) has been finalised and tenders are being invited for the appointment of a consultant.
The corporation also has plans to rope in NGOs and other citizen entities for the campaign...
NGOs working for cleanliness and all the non-officials and councillors of MCGM along with MLAs and MPs will be involved in this drive. The corporation is also liaising with various stakeholders through regular interaction with officials from Central Government offices like the Railways, Defence, CPWD, BPT, RCF, etc, and state government offices like MHADA, SRA, PWD, MSRDC, MMRDA, etc, for their active participation during the campaign.
What is the total fund allotted for SWM in the corporation budget?
The total fund allotted to SWM is Rs 2,231.60 crore for FY 2015-16.
There were plans to build waste-to-energy plants. How soon will they be operational?
For the construction of waste-to-energy plants, it will take around 24 to 27 months for activities like completing the request for quotation (RFQ) stage, appointment of agency, etc. The EoI and RFQ on technology have been opened and bidders have proposed thermal technology (incineration).
How will small-scale treatment plants help manage waste in the city? Have the areas been identified and tenders floated for the same?
Small-scale treatment plants will reduce transportation cost and allow for effective and economical processing of segregated waste. Eol has been floated for decentralisation of processing of MSW. The proposed plan is to initially install them in municipal market areas before scaling it further. Tenders for the same will be floated in coming months.
Apart from SWM, how do you view the need for recycling construction and demolition (C&D) waste? What initiatives have been undertaken by MCGM for the same?
Considering depletion of natural resources for the sake of construction activities, it is essential to set up a recycling plant for C&D waste that will help protect the environment. However, the quality norms of these recycled products have to be finalised for further use. With regard to recycling of C&D material, MCGM had floated tenders in 2011. But owing to higher tipping rate per tonne and land constraints, the project could not materialise. MMRDA is framing a policy for C&D waste for the MMR, which will be executed jointly along with MCGM. The corporation is also implementing a debris-on-call scheme to lift construction debris immediately after receiving a call. Ward-wise special teams are being deployed for this purpose.
What are the challenges faced in waste management in the city and what are the tactics used to mitigate them?
The corporation faces a lot of challenges in waste management. The foremost is lack of awareness among citizens regarding segregation and lack of space for waste processing projects. The ´not-in-my-backyard´ syndrome among citizens for waste-related issues is also a major hurdle along with the dearth of trained personnel. To effectively tackle these challenges, MCGM is in the process of appointing an external agency to create awareness among citizens on waste and its management. The corporation is also in the process of acquiring 60 hectare in Taloja for waste disposal functions.
How can private players contribute in the corporation's endeavour for a cleaner Mumbai?
The endeavour for a cleaner Mumbai is a joint effort, with private players, citizens, NGOs and every Mumbaikar coming together to achieve the goal. With regard to contribution of corporate houses, there are two ways. Under the CSR programme, they can fund waste management-related infrastructure, from supplying refuse bins to the adapting a whole administrative ward for waste collecting and transporting operations. They can also participate in the tendering process of PPP-based waste management projects in an active manner, so their role is not just limited to being a technology provider. These methods can ensure that corporate culture seeps into the sector.
Mumbai City Corporation
Year of Establishment:
September 4, 1873
Area: 437.71 sq km
Population: 1,25,84,139 (2014);
Density: 27,161 (as per Census 2011)
Administrative of zones: Seven
Ward offices: 24
Civic centers: 25
Annual budget: Rs.33,519.15 crore
(Size of MCGM Budget 2015-16)
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