Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Reconstruction Mission (JNNURM), 45 solid waste management (SWM) projects at a cost of Rs 2,086 crore and 70 projects of Rs 409 crore have been approved so far in different states by the Urban Development Ministry, Government of India. JUNNURM has listed 65 mission cities for financial assistance for urban development in the country.
“These projects are in the different stages of implementation,” Union Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy said in Mysore on Monday, highlighting the efforts of the government to tackle the SWM problem in urban India.
Mysore was among those beneficiary cities and a Rs 29.85 crore project had been approved by the Ministry. Bangalore, the other city in Karnataka under JNNURM, has however not sent any proposal so far to the Ministry, he said. A survey of 423 cities did not find a single green city in the country, which, the minister said, highlights the need for a proactive approach to make cities cleaner.
Chandigarh, however, was the first city followed by Mysore in good sanitation. “These two are reasonably cleaner cities. They must improve further to achieve green city status,” he said.
Stating that his Ministry was proactive in funding SWM projects, Roy listed various measures taken up to make urban centres cleaner, like publication of manual on municipal SWM, notification of municipal solid waste (management and handling) rules, constitution of technical advisory group on SWM, and a task force to formulate an action plan. However, he lamented, no urban local body had complied with the rules relating to municipal solid waste (management and handling), though it had given specific directions to local bodies, district administration and urban development departments of the States for proper and scientific SWM.
Highlighting the challenge urban bodies had before them, the Union Minister told the International Conference on SWM 2012 that, according to the 2011 census, the total urban population stood at 373.10 million and was projected to touch 600 million by 2030.
The number of cities and towns had increased from 5,161 in 2001 to 7,935 in 2011 while the share of population had gone up from 28 to 31.15 per cent of the total population in the last decade. Population in 35 metro cities constituted 37 per cent of India’s total urban population. By 2050, it was expected that 50 per cent of the country’s population would be urban. Urban India generated 42 million tonne solid waste annually, i.e. 115,000 tonnes a day, out of which 83,300 tonnes per day was generated in 423 Class I cities, equivalent to 72.42 per cent of the total urban waste generated each day in India. The per capita generation in cities varied from 200 to 600 gramme a day.
Urban population growing between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent per annum, the annual increase in urban solid waste was assessed at 5 per cent, he said calling for tackling of this stupendous challenge on priority with practical approach.