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Water storage level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes down by two percent


January, 2018

MUMBAI:The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on January 04, 2018 was 84.241 BCM which is 52 of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 54 for the week ending on December 28, 2017. The level of water storage in the week ending on January 04, 2018 was 94% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 94% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 16.69 BCM which is 53% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

The storage during corresponding period of last year was 59% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 55% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

 

Water supply to Dahej, Vilayat industries stopped

January, 2018

BHARUCH/SURAT:Salinity problem has returned to haunt the industries of Dahej and Vilayat which are facing water crisis with Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) stopping water supply to them from its borewells.

The supply was stopped due to high level of total dissolved solid in the underground water seawater gushing into Narmada river and contaminating the source.
The saline water contaminated the water of borewells of GIDC, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Company and many other companies in Bharuch, Dahej and Vilayat industrial estates. The GIDC officials informed the industries about stoppage of water supply from Wednesday 8 pm to Friday 6 am in view of high level of TDS which will not allow the pumps to operate, Dahej Industries Association president M A Hania said.

He said more water discharge from Sardar Sarovar Dam during high tide days is the only solution to ensure smooth water flow as it had been in the past four years, particularly in the period from January to June. The industries in Dahej and Vilayat had to stop production in their units because of poor quality of water in the past. The TDS level on Wednesday was around 1,600 mg/litre, which got reduced to around 1,200 mg.litre on Thursday afternoon. The situation is expected to normalize by Friday evening.

Dahej and Vilayat GIDC industries associations will also make representations to the state government to permit more water be released from Sardar Sarovar Dam for industries, particularly during the days when there is high tide in the sea, Hania added.

 

Big push ahead for twin water supply projects

January, 2018

Laying pipeline from Bhama Askhed and 24X7 water supply are two crucial projects the residents are looking forward to this year, but the possibility of their completion in the next 12 months is bleak.

Yet, the projects are likely to get a major push from the civic administration. The Bhama Askhed pipeline project, aimed at bringing 2 TMC additional water to the city, is at the implementation stage. The 24X7 water supply project — expected to ensure equitable supply across the city — is still on the paper. The civic administration is yet to finalise tenders for it.

A source in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said besides the administration's push, the fate of both the projects was dependent on the political stance of leaders. A senior corporator said, "Both the projects did not move ahead at the expected speed in 2017 because of political reservations. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is monitoring them."

The 24x7 water supply project suffered a setback in 2017 when the administration had to cancel the tenders because the cost was "inflated". The tendering process has been resumed and is expected to get over in the next couple of months. The project cost was brought down by almost Rs 400 crore after revision. The work includes laying of over 2,200km new pipeline across the city and installation of water meters.

The Bhama Akshed project, expected to meet the water requirement of over 10 lakh population staying in the city's eastern parts, has been facing a strong opposition from the local villagers over the compensation package. In the past six months, the project work was halted on a couple of occasions. Repeated obstructions hampered its progress and compelled the administration to give extensions.

 

Storm water drains can’t carry sewage: NGT

January, 2018

BENGALURU:The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday observed that storm water drains are meant to carry rainwater to lakes and sewage was never meant to be discharged in them. It observed that “either treated or untreated sewage” must not enter Agara, Bellandur and Varthur lakes.

The tribunal observed that rapid development and failure to give underground sewage network to major parts of the city has led to the discharge of sewage into storm water drains, which has polluted lakes in the city.

Pointing to the state’s failure in maintaining lakes, which was promised as per an action plan submitted to the tribunal on September 4, 2017, the NGT directed the state to focus on a time-bound, steady action plan. One of the directions issued by the NGT to the state is to clean up the lakes and in the meanwhile to develop the underground sewage network in the city.

NGT directed the state’s counsel to come back with a time-bound, stepwise action plan by Monday. But the state counsel, Devraj Ashok, submitted that he will require approvals from high-level officials before submitting the timelines and requested for more time. The Tribunal adjourned the hearing to January 18.

Railways' bio-toilet project deeply flawed, need 3,350 truckloads of cow dung at Rs 42 Cr, reveals CAG report

January, 2018

The Indian Railways needs to buy 3,350 truckloads of cow dung at Rs 42 crore in 2018 to “recharge”— add bacteria to activate degradation — leaky, malfunctioning ‘bio-toilets’ that it has fitted on 44.8 percent of trains and hopes to expand to all trains by 2018, according to IndiaSpend projections of data released by the national auditor to Parliament.

Bio-toilets are small-scale sewage-treatment systems beneath the toilet seat: Bacteria in a compost chamber digest human excreta, leaving behind water and methane. That’s how they were supposed to work.

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on these bio-toilets echoes the findings of our November 2017 investigation into their widespread malfunctioning: The CAG found 1,99,689 defects in 25,000 toilets.

Responding to the CAG findings, the railways ministry said its criticism was “not correct” and that “some problems of choking were occurring on account of misuse of toilets by passengers”. An official note from 20 December, 2017, said: “These issues are being dealt with promptly.”
“By November 2011, the performance issues of each design of bio-toilets were clearly showing up,” the note said. “Therefore, the ministry did not wait until the end of the trial period to make the decision (to order the procurement of bio-toilets from private manufacturers).”

Our November 2017 story quoted studies from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and IIT Kanpur that said the bio-toilets were no better than “septic tanks” and the water they let out no better than “raw sewage”.

Each bio-toilet requires 60 litres — or three large bucketfuls — of inoculum, a mix of cow dung and water, according to the 19 December, 2017, CAG report. This inoculum begins the process of breaking down 3,980 tons of human excreta that is released untreated by trains on rail tracks nationwide every day.
The bio-toilets originally used a bacterium found in Antarctica by a defence scientist, who cultured it in 2005 and 10 years later, got a patent on its use. Over seven years to 2017, 97,761 such toilets were fitted in new coaches or retrofitted in existing Indian trains.

The Railways went ahead with the toilet installation even though the flaw in the basic model designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had been pointed out by an expert panel in 2007. In an interview, Vinod Tare, an IIT professor of environmental engineering, who headed this panel, told IndiaSpend that these bio-toilets had been found ineffective at two venues: Kumbh Mela, the massive gathering of Hindu pilgrims held every 12 years at a river bank, and the army base-camp at Siachen glacier.


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SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

Goregaon temple turns its wet waste into electricity

January, 2018

One of the biggest temple trusts in Mumbai has set up a hybrid system, a combination of biogas plant coupled with solar panels, to not only produce electricity from wet waste generated in its premises but also with a target to gradually shift to renewable energy for power.

Last week, the Ayappa Seva Samgham temple at Goregaon, Bangur Nagar, which generates up to 500 kilograms of wet waste including all the floral offerings, set up solar panels and converted its existing biogas plant to produce electricity. In fact, in the coming months, it is also planning to set up a waste water treatment plant to ensure that all the waste water generated from its temple premises can be reused.

“We had the biogas plant setup and the gas produced was used for small purposes but we decided to better the system thus not only a setup was added to convert the gas into electricity but solar panels too were added and the electricity which will be generated will now help us light up a small community hall,” said Retired Colonel Chandrashekhar Unni, Joint Secretary of the temple trust.

Currently the set-up is at a pilot level hence only two solar panels have been added. “Our final aim is to ensure that we can power the entire premises using renewable energy by next year. Every month we want to increase the output of both solar as well as biogas plant,” Unni said, and added that they even plan to approach nearby temples to collect their wet waste and use it for the biogas plant.

Harish Mistry, a resident of Malad who has helped the temple trust by providing the biogas plant and setting up solar panels, said that this would soon become a model temple for visitors to understand renewable energy and its generation. “We have set up a system where all the wet waste is put into the biogas digestor and the anaerobic composting releases methane gas which is converted into electricity with fuel cells. To improve the capacity we have added solar panels and the electricity generated will be stored in batteries or invertor,” he said.

 

Manipur gets waste management plant to preserve green cover

January, 2018

Imphal West (Manipur):In an endeavour to protect and preserve the green cover of northeastern state of Manipur, a solid waste treatment plant has been set up at Lamdeng at Lamdeng in Imphal West.

The plant, set up under a state government initiative, is helping the state manage solid and industrial waste.
The operations of the plant, which will treat, process, recycle and disposing solid waste of Imphal, has been handed to a private agency Eco Care Private Limited.

The plant has been functioning under the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model since December 15, 2016.
“As of now our end product is only bio compost and in the future we will try to generate power also,” said Madhurjit Singh, Plant Project Manager.
Solid waste is the unwanted or useless solid materials generated from human activities in residential, industrial or commercial areas.

Imphal produces 120 tonnes of waste per day and a number of processes are involved in effectively managing this waste. It includes monitoring, collection, transport, processing, recycling and disposal.

Moreover, the end product that is recovered from the waste in the treatment plant is quality oriented bio composes which can be used as manure by farmers.
“The end product of bio compost is being outsourced to one private firm, A1 Agro Company and has been marketed under the brand name of Nongin Bio-Compost. It is quality oriented. Presently we are testing in local village, outcome will be coming soon,” Singh said.

The treatment plant is spread across an area of 12 acres. The entire process of waste management includes usage of machineries like the JCB’s, tractors and processing and refining machines.

This venture has also helped generate employment opportunities for many in the city. Currently, the plant employs 19 people.
It is worth mentioning that the treatment plant was constructed at a cost of Rs. 4,175 crore and in near future the plant is coming up with a power plant with a target of 1 Megawatt of power by using gas fire.

‘Solid waste management biggest challenge before cities’

 January, 2018

NEW DELHI: Eight out of every 10 city managers including municipal commissioners and mayors feel solid waste management is the biggest challenge before their cities while 70% of them feel it is improvement in water supply.

According to a survey conducted among city managers across eight states by Janaagraha, a Bengaluru-based not-for profit, 60% of the respondents felt improving sanitation was another major challenge followed by dealing with air pollution (55%). Half of the respondents also felt providing affordable housing to poor is also a big task.

The survey titled "Voice of City Governments" also found that majority of the city managers felt that fixing the issues/ challenges cities requires a 'systems' approach. Nearly three-fourth of the respondents cited poor coordination among different agencies as the key factor for the mess in urban areas and the main stumbling block for delivering high quality life and services. The other key reasons are inadequate number of skilled staff, weak enforcement, lack of proper city planning and lack of civic sense among citizens.

"While there has been increasing noise over the challenges on urban mobility, the same did not figure among the top five quality of life challenges cited most by city-leaders. While respondents from bigger cities did identify mobility as a significant and immediate challenge, those from smaller cities did not," the report said.

Citing how municipal bodies are highly dependent on financial assistance from states, more than nine out of every 10 respondents said devolving more powers to municipal entities over taxation and fees would help improve the situation. Even after 25 years of passing of the 74th amendment of Constitution state governments are yet to devolve adequate funds, functions and functionaries to cities.

The survey also found that city managers were in favour of more citizen participation in platforms such as ward committees/ area sabhas to improve decision making and introduction of participatory budgeting.

'Solid waste, bio medical waste management a priority'

January, 2018

PILIBHIT: Soon after the BJP announced its list of candidates for three municipal councils and six town area committees in Pilibhit on Sunday in a press conference, the candidate for Pilibhit city municipal council, Dr Divya Mishra, said that the solid waste and bio medical waste management at local level would be kept on first priority while proper sanitation and pure drinking water supply would also be given special attention.

Mishra, who is a gynecologist in a private hospital in Pilibhit city, said that being a doctor she would prioritise all programmes essential for the public health, especially for children as well as the pollution control. "Most of the gastric diseases are caused by the contaminated drinking water. We therefore will toil to test the quality of underground water level on regular cycles and will ensure hassle-free arrangements for its proper chlorination before its supply to masses as the poor families do not have any device for purification of water," Mishra said.

She said that she had prepared a project report with the assistance of her husband, Dr Yogendra Nath Mishra who is a neurosurgeon, for setting up a solid waste treatment plant in Pilibhit in addition to establishing an incineration unit for bio-medical waste to make the riversides free from litter dumping. As the bio-medical waste was extremely hazardous for human life if dumped in open, she would ensure that it was disposed of in safe and recommended manner at local level. Presently, the government and private hospitals in Pilibhit were dependent on Bareilly-based company for its collection, she said.

The district vice president of BJP and a lawyer, Dheerendra Mishra said that his party would contest elections on issue related to essential needs of common masses like electricity, roads, drinking water etc. He said that the party candidates would bring all matters of corruption in municipal councils and town areas after they take over as newly elected chairpersons.

Announcing the names of other candidates, the district president of BJP, Suresh Gangwar said that in remaining two municipal councils in the district apart from Pilibhit city, the party had fielded Dr Mahesh Gupta from Bisalpur and Pradeep Jaiswal alias Lallan from Puranpur who was the sitting chairman there.

No shortage of funds, states are not cooperative: Supreme Court on solid waste management

January, 2018

Observing that solid waste management was a huge problem, the Supreme Court (SC) pulled up states that were not cooperating with the effort to manage solid waste despite having sufficient funds for it.

"It is clear that there is absolutely no shortage of funds, but there is only absence of any initiative or lack of any willingness to take any positive steps for solid waste management," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed on December 12.

The top court, two years ago, took cognisance of a report wherein Laxmi Chandra Rout and his wife Babita committed suicide after their son Avinash died due to dengue.

According to an affidavit submitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Swachh Bharat Mission has a total outlay of Rs 36,829 crore, out of which Rs 7,424 crore have been made available by the Central Government.

The court's observation came on the heels of a submission made by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Atmaram Nadkarni that only 15 states and Union Territories responded to a communication sent in January earlier this year by the MoEF regarding the status of constitution of a State Level Advisory Body (SLAB). Nadkarni further submitted that some of the states had not even held a single SLAB meeting.

Reacting to this submission, the SC bench directed the MoEF to inform all states to set up SLAB within two weeks and submit a response with the steps taken by the committee thereafter.

"We direct the MOEF to follow up on the matter with state governments in terms of our order, and make it clear to state governments that in case they do not provide full, correct, and accurate information to the MOEF, they are likely to be burdened with very heavy costs. The state governments should keep in mind the fact that availability of funds is not a problem under Swachh Bharat Mission, and also keep in mind that solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country at this stage."

Pointing out that Rule 22 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, lays down specific timelines to tackle the problem, the court said: "Clearly, no positive steps appear to have been taken to adhere to these time lines."

The court then directed Delhi to form a definite action plan to combat solid waste management which could then be replicated in other parts of the country.

Water and Wastewater Management

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani launches ‘Reuse of Treated Waste Water Policy’

May 2018

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today released the ‘Reuse of Treated Waste Water Policy’ at a high-level meeting at Gandhinagar in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, looking to the future needs of the state.

Explaining the details of the policy, he said the state government planned to create water-grid, on the lines of power-grid, for reuse of the treated waste water from urban areas. The plan is to set up set up sewage treatment plant in each and every municipal corporation and over 150 municipalities. The plan is to fulfil 50 per cent requirement of water from retreated water in collaboration with the state’s industrial units, because the bulk of the retreated waste water is to be used by the industries.
He said it is to reduce the burden on underground and surface water. This entails creating new sources of water resources, check waste of precious water and recycling waste water.

Rupani said the month-long statewideSujalamSufalam Jal SanchayAbhiyan launched on May 1 last to create additional water storage capacity shows the path of judicious use of resources to the nation.

He said the latest waste water reuse policy is to make Gujarat ‘panidar’, brimming with water, and leave drought behind. The government has undertaken task of setting up 8-10 desalination plants along the 1,600 km long coastline. Approval for one such plant has been received. Tender has been issued to build a barrage near Bhadbhut on the Narmada at a cost of Rs 2,800-crore. The Tupper Dam in Kutch and Aji Dam in Rajkot have been revived twice, thanks to Narmada canal waters.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the retreated water would be available at a cheaper rate that from surface and underground resources, at the same time reducing the burden on traditional sources. The state’s per capita consumption of water from the Narmada and other irrigation projects is 600-700 litres per day for 6.50-crore people. He complimented the people for their support to Jal SanchayAbhiyan.

Biwater builds wastewater treatment plant in Morocco

March 2018

Biwater has completed the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in the growing tourist town of Aourir in Morocco.
With an expanding local population, as well as a thriving tourist industry, the town required a wastewater treatment facility to meet current and future development needs.

The wastewater treatment plant will serve 60 000 local residents and existing hotels. The plant has also been built to cater for future needs with design horizon of 2030 and a total treatment capacity of 19 million litres per day (MLD).
Located next to prime surf spots and areas under development, key requirements for the project were strict odour control processes and the tertiary treatment of wastewater for reuse applications. The plant now provides reuse water for green planted areas around the town as well as hotels and golf courses.

YassineLaib, Biwater’s country manager, Morocco, said: “This project sets a new benchmark for Morocco, providing a turnkey wastewater and reuse solution. It has been built in a beautiful town, and as a plant it also looks impressive and in keeping with its surroundings. The water from the plant exceeds treatment quality standards, ensuring that surfers and swimmers on the beaches alongside are not impacted.”

Biwater builds wastewater treatment plant in Morocco

March 2018

Biwater has completed the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in the growing tourist town of Aourir in Morocco.
With an expanding local population, as well as a thriving tourist industry, the town required a wastewater treatment facility to meet current and future development needs.

The wastewater treatment plant will serve 60 000 local residents and existing hotels. The plant has also been built to cater for future needs with design horizon of 2030 and a total treatment capacity of 19 million litres per day (MLD).
Located next to prime surf spots and areas under development, key requirements for the project were strict odour control processes and the tertiary treatment of wastewater for reuse applications. The plant now provides reuse water for green planted areas around the town as well as hotels and golf courses.

YassineLaib, Biwater’s country manager, Morocco, said: “This project sets a new benchmark for Morocco, providing a turnkey wastewater and reuse solution. It has been built in a beautiful town, and as a plant it also looks impressive and in keeping with its surroundings. The water from the plant exceeds treatment quality standards, ensuring that surfers and swimmers on the beaches alongside are not impacted.”

Aquaporin signs distribution agreement in Taiwan

March 2018

Danish Water Technology Company Aquaporin A/S and Taiwan’s SCH Group (Shing Chung Hong Co Ltd) have entered into a distribution agreement for Aquaporin Inside™ products covering municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, desalination and food and beverage markets.

The business collaboration will focus on solving wastewater challenges using Aquaporin Inside forward osmosis products within the growing semiconductor manufacturing industry in Taiwan.

“The Aquaporin Inside™ HFFO2 product is exactly what the market in Taiwan needs to improve production processes and wastewater handling within the semi-conductor segment. For Aquaporin this agreement is a direct channel into very attractive business and of great value for Aquaporin,” said Mark Perry, vice president of Business & Sales in Aquaporin Asia.

Delhi: Detergent waste chokes Yamuna at the mouth, excess phosphate behind deadly froth

March 2018

Teenage boys diving into unearthly swathes of white foam and colourful sari-clad women standing in the same dirty waters doing Chhat Puja have become our eternal images of river Yamuna, Delhi's only river and lifeline. But why?
Because over decades, political leaders and babus in various ministries associated with the health of our water bodies, have ignored one major cause of pollution in them: Excess phosphate in household and factory-use detergent powders and bars.
Phosphorus or phosphate extracted from limited mines in UP, Rajasthan and Odisha in India is added to laundry detergents to make hard water soft. This is necessary so that the cleansing agent can perform optimally.
However, lack of standardsor rather their enforcement has ensured that manufacturers don't act scientifically, but as per "competition in the market", adding up to 40-50 per cent of phosphate in their products when current USA standards cap/limit the same at 2.2 per cent and Spain even at 0.5 per cent!

82-year-old Almitra Patel, an engineer from MIT, USA, who led the movement for India's first 'Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000', explained, "In the absence of enough Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), all our laundry waste water drains into our nearest rivers and ponds. The excess phosphate in it acts as a nutrient for algae and plants like water hyacinth, which see an unhealthy bloom."
"These then spread rapidly, covering the whole water body surface, preventing penetration of sunlight and extracting all the oxygen from it, leaving nothing for fishes and other aquatic animals to survive on," she said.
This has happened not just in Yamuna, but practically all rivers and ponds of India including Bengalurus infamous Bellandur Lake, which keeps frothing and catches fire often, she added.

Curiously, India has never lacked detergent phosphate 'standards'. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, formulated 'scientific parameters' for phosphate in cleansing agents back in 1968.
Strangely, these -- IS (Indian Standard) 4955, 4956, 8180 and 9458 talk in terms of the 'minimum' phosphate to be added and not maximum, giving a free hand to MNCs, local and small-scale manufacturers to indulge in as much lather-creating phosphate as they want to!

"Unfortunately at that time, the negative effects of phosphate were not so well understood. So over the past 25 years, a committee of scientists and industry leaders led by Professor RK Trivedi of the Harcourt Butler Technical University (Kanpur) have now revised those standards," informed UK Das, senior scientist with Chemistry Department, BIS, in an exclusive chat with Mail Today.
"The standards now not just talk in terms of maximum phosphate, but have also capped them at 2.5 to 10 per cent of the total dry weight of the detergent. They also advise manufacturers to look at safer alternatives to phosphorus like Geolite and co-enzymes or bio-enzymes," he added.

These are still at draft stage but will be finalized by the end of March 2018 hopefully, officials said. Importantly, even this has been achieved after a lot of resistance from the detergent industry," a senior officer in BIS confided.
But that’s still not the happy ending you would look for. Unfortunately, very few of the BIS standards (across sectors) are mandatory. They are only 'informative' or 'voluntary'. It would need a law from the Government of India to make even the new BIS standards 'legally binding' on detergent makers.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has also failed to show any urgency in stopping the menace. It introduced its own standards called 'Ecomark' for 14 industries, including detergents, back in 1991. It says there should be "minimum to nil" phosphate in these products; but there is neither any awareness about it, nor enforcement!
A Sudhakar, Member Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), under MoEF, told Mail Today, "We are a body only looking at effluents and emissions. We don’t look at product ingredients which is a domain of departments like BIS."
"But if they decide to take the issue to say PMO, we will support them," he added, inferring that till then, it would be dirty business as usual!

Plastic particles found in bottled water: Tests on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic

March 2018

In the largest investigation of its kind, 250 bottles bought in nine different countries were examined.
Research led by journalism organisation Orb Media discovered an average of 10 plastic particles per litre, each larger than the width of a human hair.

Companies whose brands were tested told the BBC that their bottling plants were operated to the highest standards.
The tests were conducted at the State University of New York in Fredonia

Over Rs 3,600 crore released in last three years for cleaning Ganga

March 2018

NEW DELHI: The government has released Rs 3,633 crore between 2014-15 and 2016-17 for cleaning the Ganga and beautifying ghats along it, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Water Resources Satyapal Singh also said in a written reply that construction and beautification of 228 of the total 361 ghats sanctioned have been completed till now under the Centre's NamamiGange programme.
Of these, 189 ghats are located along the river's stretch in West Bengal.
In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand works on 20, 16, two and one ghats have been completed till date respectively, he added.

The minister said 154 priority drains and 1,109 grossly polluting industries (GPIs) have been identified along the river, most of which are located in Uttar Pradesh.

Of the five basin states, the longest stretch of the Ganga is in Uttar Pradesh.
Highlighting the steps taken by the government to abate pollution in the river, the minister said, “Surprise inspection of GPIs is carried out for compliance verification of the stipulated environmental norms.
"Out of the 1,109 GPIs inspected, 538 were found to be non-complying and 358 of those were issued closure directions and 180 have been given show cause notices.

Implementation of water conservation measures in industrial sectors and establishment/upgradation of sewage treatment plants/common effluent treatment plants in the towns located along Ganga's main stem and tributaries are among the steps taken by the government to curb pollution in the river, he added.

Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Management: Approval for projects in 48 cities before March 31, says Devendra Fadnavis

March 2018

Chief Minister DevendraFadnavis on Thursday said waste management projects for 48 cities would be approved before March 31. He added that the state government had already approved projects for 152 cities that would cost Rs 1,856 crore. Fadnavis was replying to a question on the issue of solid waste management in Aurangabad and other cities in the Legislative Council. “Since last two years, the urban development department has been working to resolve the solid waste management issue under Swachh Bharat Mission across the state. Of 260 cities in state, waste segregation is being carried out in 236 cities. In 48 cities, the waste segregation is above 75 per cent. In all, there are 176 cities wherein the waste segregation is above 40 per cent,” he said.
The CM said small towns have outperformed big cities in making themselves garbage-free. “The scientific process of making wet waste into compost is being carried out in 146 cities… We have received the tag of ‘HaritMahacity’ from the Centre for selling the compost of 38 cities while certification is in process for another 68 cities,” he added.

He said waste-to-energy projects in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur are at various stages of approval. “We have taken a decision of converting waste into biogas in Aurangabad. Small towns like Vengurla, Vita, Sasawad, Ballarpur and Kalmeshwar have become model towns as they are managing 100 per cent waste. Among big cities, Navi Mumbai has created major infrastructure for waste management and the BMC has also invited bids for it and further action is on,” Fadnavis said, adding that many housing societies are processing waste scientifically and they have been awarded concessions in FSI as well.

Besides, Fadnavis also said that there was no reservation for the solid waste management in Development Plan of Aurangabad, approved in 2002. Now, the state government will make the reservation. Also, the state government will make available funds worth Rs 86.21 crore for the project of scientific waste processing in Aurangabad, he added.

BMC acts against bulk waste generators

March 2018

While so far 677 bulk waste generators are facing legal actions, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is further set to tighten the noose around housing societies for the next six months in a bid to fasten the process of mandatory waste processing at source. This mandate of reducing waste generation comes ahead of the city's waste management report, which the civic body will be submitting to the Supreme Court. Around 2,196 bulk generators are yet to begin waste segregation and processing.

A senior official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department said the coming six months will be crucial for waste management and they (authorities) will ensure that waste generation does not rise. The BMC has, so far, brought down daily waste generation from 9500 metric tonne (MT) to 7500 MT in the last two years. The Supreme Court had also taken civic body's effort on account while granting permission.

The official said that as per the Bombay High Court observation, the waste generation by 2018 would be around 11,500 MT. However, by taking a number of measures, the civic body has in fact brought down waste generation substantially. "There is no relief for bulk waste generators as housing societies and commercial units have to process waste at their source," said the official.
The BMC has already written to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to act against housing societies if they receive complaints from wards. Building projects of over 20,000 sqmt require environment clearances with a condition that all solid waste would be processed in the premises. However, it was found that the place within the housing societies earmarked for setting up composting unit is being used for parking and other purposes. In addition, they were given intent of disapproval (IoD) and Occupation certificate (OC) on the condition that they would set up waste composting facility.

The deadline given to the housing societies and commercial units to start compulsory waste segregation ended on January 31. However, going by the document that DNA accessed, only 1,078 bulk generators have complied to the notices as on March 18. A total of 3,309 bulk waste generators were served with notices, of which, 2,196 are yet to begin processing waste.

Notices were sent to bulk generators (that is housing societies and commercial units that generate more than 100 kgs waste per day) — asking them to follow solid waste management rules under Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, MRTP Act and Environment Protection Act.

The 677 bulk generators who have failed to comply to the notices and have been prosecuted, will have to pay fines in civil courts of up to Rs 5,000 per defaulter. DNA had reported on March 5 that BMC has prosecuted 494 bulk waste generators for failing to follow waste management rules of which 97 cases were in court and nine were disposed of.
In case buildings do not set up waste processing within a time frame given by the BMC, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) can cut power and water supply to these residential units following the civic body's complaint. It was in July 1, 2017 that the BMC Commissioner, Ajoy Mehta had announced that to decrease the load on city's dumping ground, waste segregation will be compulsory at source.

Segregation at source should be the first step in waste management

March 2018

As the city takes steps towards implementing various measures to improve its solid waste management, head of Swiss cooperation office and counselorMarylaureCrettaz talks to TOI about the challenges the city faces.

What do you think about existing solid waste managements?

There is a huge problem in collection and processing of waste as we see dump yards and landfills have mixed waste. This mixed waste is a big issue, and it is all around the world. As cities in India are growing, it will accumulate into larger problems

Best practice for solid waste management?

Segregation is the only solution. First we need to segregate waste at the source and it has to be the first step. Swiss expertise and Swiss practices are also being replicated in India. In Switzerland, we do not have an option as we have very strict waste calendar - On Monday, we give paper, on Tuesday we give organic waste, Wednesday - glass and so on. We have a system on pay bags. The bags that we use for collecting waste needs to be purchased separately. So we need to think what we put in the bag as it costs us 2 dollars for 32 litres. So we cannot put all waste into it.

How IoT Enabled Smart City Helps Tackle the Problem of Solid Waste Management in India

March 2018

In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, R. Venkateswaran, Senior VP IoT, Persistent Systems, talks about solid waste management and how IoT enabled Smart Cities can help tackle this problem of Solid Waste Management in India. He also talks about the challenges in the implementation of smart solid waste management systems. Excerpts:

Q: Where do you think the current problem of solid waste management lies?
A comprehensive solution to Solid Waste Management (SWM) spans across five key areas in the SWM lifecycle, namely, Generation, Collection, Transportation, Treatment and Disposal. Today, in India, we have challenges across each of these areas that need to be overcome to create a viable Solid Waste Management solution.
Some of the challenges include segregation of waste at the time of generation, shortage of sufficient manpower and garbage vans for collection, tracking and monitoring of waste transportation to enable cross-verification and transparency, proper treatment of bio-degradable and recyclable material and lastly, environmentally safe and hygienic waste disposal mechanism.
With a 48% growth in urban population in India from 29 crores in 2000 to 43 crores in 2015, there has been a corresponding significant increase in the amount of waste generated (approximately 2.5 times or 150%). Further, the segregation of waste (for example, “dry” vs “wet” garbage) has not been consistently effective due to lack of awareness and inability to enforce segregation.
Shortage of manpower and garbage vans is also a key challenge for collection and transportation. Municipal bodies typically outsource this activity to contractors but do not have the necessary systems in place to effectively track and monitor the services rendered by these contractors. Citizens add to this challenge of effective collection by disposing off their garbage outside the designated bins. Waste processing and treatment has a strong dependence on segregation of waste into multiple categories (bio-degradable, recycling, bio-hazard etc.). The final disposal of waste is also a big challenge given the lack of planning of land-fill sites. Originally, these sites were ear-marked away from the cities to minimize harmful effects to inhabitants. However, with the expansion of cities, these sites now fall within city perimeters, thereby, exposing the residents to health hazards and other environmental issues.

Q: How can an IoT enabled Smart City to help tackle the problem of Solid Waste Management in India?
Deploying IoT and related technologies can address some of the predominant challenges in solid waste management very effectively.
IoT-enabled waste collection and transportation can bring in significant advantages in the overall implementation of waste management solutions. Specifically, the municipal corporations that have outsourced this work to independent contractors, can use IoT technologies to track and monitor the contractors’ effectiveness. Deployment of smart bins, tracking of garbage pickup trucks as well as the sanitation workers, route optimization for trucks, cross-checking of garbage weight etc. can efficiently address the challenges of enforcement and transparency. Similarly, IoT-enabled sensors can also monitor the amount of alternate fuel generated from the processed waste. This helps the cities address some of their fuel needs and leverage the benefits of the Solid Waste Management solutions.
In the long run, IoT-enabled solutions can also help in segregating waste at the time of waste generation, thereby bringing in significant value to the rest of the lifecycle stages.

Q: Has Persistent deployed any smart waste disposal projects?
Persistent Systems has developed an IoT-enabled Solid Waste Management solution to address the collection and transportation of Solid Waste. It involves retrofitting existing garbage bins by adding connected sensors to make them “smart bins”. These sensors detect the level and weight of the garbage and transmit this information to a server deployed in the city’s Data Center through existing cellular infrastructure. These ruggedized sensors ensure that they can withstand extreme weather conditions and have a long battery life of at least 2-3 years.
Our solution uses the data from the smart bins to optimize the route, the schedule and the size of the garbage trucks for waste collection and transportation, thereby improving the fuel efficiency of the waste collection process. Tracking of the truck through geo-fencing and periodic alerts for various incidents helps the Municipal body to monitor the performance of the workers and contractors to assigned to this task. Daily, weekly and monthly reports about different aspects of the collection process help the Sanitation department head to assess and make improvements.
We are working closely with the municipal bodies in Pune and Nagpur and are partnering with large System Integrators in responding to the Smart City initiatives to cover the Waste Management area.

Q: What challenges do you see in the implementation of smart solid waste management systems?
While there is a general awareness and pilot deployments of Smart Solid Waste Management solutions in some cities such as Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Indore, Jaipur and Pune, these deployments have limited scope and hence have not really leveraged the full value of a smart solution. My view is that the main challenges are not necessarily technology-related, but more around the process and mindset of people.
In a typical Smart city plan, Solid Waste Management is combined along with the rest of the Smart City initiatives. This results in a significant delay in decision making, thereby, slowing down the deployment of smart Solid Waste Management solutions. These deployments can be speeded up by focused initiatives for effective Solid Waste Management. Perhaps government / civic bodies should consider decoupling various Smart City initiatives and expediting some, depending on immediate need and priority.
Further, we have observed that enforcement and implementation typically happens only for certain phases of the Solid Waste Management lifecycle, but not in its entirety. For example, a specific deployment may focus only on garbage truck tracking, but not the sanitation workers. Such deployments, while bringing in some improvements, do not realize the full potential of such a solution.

Q: How will it benefit its various stakeholders?
Various stakeholders such as municipal bodies, contractors, private waste management organizations and citizens will benefit significantly from the smart city initiatives around waste management. Specifically, the benefit will come about in terms of transparency in operations, reduced operations costs, elimination of poor practices and allocation of funds as per the needs/challenges.

Q: Can you throw some light on the growing importance of data management for smart cities?
The idea behind Smart Cities is enabling the various departments such as Sanitation, Transportation, Water Management etc to leverage technology and automation to solve their critical challenges. An immediate follow up to this initiative is the generation of significant data (preferably in real-time) centeredaround the key performance metrics of these departments. The insights from the data generated are key to decisions and actions that would otherwise not have been possible.
Effectively managing the data generated from the various departments and integrating them as part of the decision-making process is key to the success of the Smart City initiatives. Further, the insights derived from this data can also be made available to other departments or states to help accelerate their smart city plans. As an example, sharing of water consumption by one state/city can help other neighboring states/cities plan their water challenges effectively. This does require all departments to work collaboratively in the best interests of the citizens.