The TrickyScribe: Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in supersession of Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, has notified the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), however, has overall mandate to take periodic review of the measures taken by the states and local bodies for improving their solid waste management practices.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Mahesh Sharma said MoHUA is implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) project under which various projects have been taken up. Under this programme during the mission period of 2014-15 to 2019-20, an allocation of Rs. 7424.24 crore was made for Solid Waste Management Projects.
Sharma said that the ministry, under the provision of Environment Protection Act of 1986, issued several notifications to mitigate increasing pollution. Ministry has issued Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006 for the management of developmental projects.
He added that as per the notification, construction of new projects or activities or the expansion or modernization of existing projects or activities listed in the Schedule to the notification shall be undertaken only after the prior environmental clearance from the Central Government or as the case may be, by the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority.
Dr Sharma pointed out that the project proposals are appraised by the concerned State Level Expert Appraisal Committees and while recommending the proposals for grant of clearance, environmental safeguards are prescribed so as to mitigate increasing pollution.
He informed the House that the Government has comprehensively revised the waste management rules and has notified Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, E-waste Management Rules, 2016 and Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 for sound management of various types of waste in the country.
Sharma averred that the status of various types of pollution is being monitored by the state governments through the State Pollution Control Board. As far as air pollution is concerned a decreasing trend has been observed in SO2 levels in cities like Delhi due to various interventions that have taken place in recent years such as reduction of sulphur in diesel, use of cleaner fuel such as CNG in Delhi and Mumbai and LPG in cities like Hyderabad, Lucknow and Bangalore.
Other measures include implementation of Bharat Stage-IV emission norms for new passenger cars and Bharat Stage – III for two Wheelers in metro cities commensurate with improved fuel quality. There has been a change in domestic fuel used in the kitchen: coal to LPG and CNG which may have contributed to the reduction in ambient levels of SO2.
Sharma asserted that the MoHUA has overall mandate to take periodic reviews of the measures taken by the states and local bodies for improving their solid waste management practices. As per MoHUA Annual Report on the implementation of SWM Rules, 2016 for year 2016-17 it is estimated that the total generation of solid waste is approximately 1,50,000 tonnes per day. Of which, approximately 90 percent (1,35,000 MT daily) is collected. Out of the collected waste, 20 percent is processed and the remaining goes to the dumping sites.