Nearly 24 per cent of the solid waste generated in the country was being processed as on January 31, according to data presented by the government in Parliament. Out of over 1.43 lakh tonnes per day (tpd) of solid waste generated across the country, only about 33,800 tpd (or 23.73 per cent) was being processed as on the last day of January, the housing and urban affairs ministry data showed. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), the government aims to attain 100 per cent scientific management of solid waste, and also make the country Open-Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. At 22,570 tpd, Maharashtra produced the highest quantity of solid waste as on January 31, out of which 7,900 tpd or 35 per cent was processed. HUA minister Hardeep Singh Puri presented the data in the Rajya Sabha recently as part of a written reply to a question. Chhattisgarh produced 1,680 tpd of solid waste and processed 1,008 tpd or 60 per cent, while Delhi produced 10,500 tpd and processed 5,775 or 55 per cent, the data showed. Gujarat processed 23 per cent of the total waste it generated, while Karnataka processed 22 per cent, and Uttar Pradesh only 20 per cent. In Goa, 62 per cent of the solid waste was processed, while Meghalaya processed 58 per cent, Telangana 67 per cent, Tripura 57 per cent and Sikkim 66 per cent. States which processed less than 10 per cent of the solid waste they generated include Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, according to the data. Listing out the reasons for the "slow progress", Puri said that construction of processing plants has a gestation period of 1-2 years from the date of tendering to the commissioning and operational phase. "Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) provides funds only upto 35 per cent maximum and the rest has to be arranged by the states and ULBs, causing delays in securing funds," he said. Underlining that solid waste management continued to pose a challenge, the housing and urban affairs ministry had last month written to the state SBM directors asking them to send it a detailed month-wise action plan for the state as well as for each cities with more than 1 lakh population for achieving 100 per cent scientific waste management by 2019. The letter also asked them to indicate in the action plan the possible challenges and difficulties they foresee in implementing the action plan. The ministry asked them to include in action plans various issues, including ensuring behavioural changes towards segregation of different types of waste at source, enforcement of spot fines, and plastic ban according to the rules.
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