KOLKATA, 16 May 2017: With land becoming increasingly scarce, urban local bodies (ULBs) are required to lay a greater focus on recycling, reduction and segregation of wastes, according to Mr Arnab Roy, Principal Secretary to the Department of Environment in West Bengal.
He was speaking at the Conference on Sustainable Waste Management organized by CII here today.
“In a bid to fill the gap, the State Government is trying to make sure minimal wastes go to landfill sites. Time has come for us all – government, industry, civil society and citizens – to reduce wastes by recycling. It is also important that we do not leave everything to a local body,” Mr Roy told an audience which included industry members, researchers and representatives from as many as 30 municipalities from across the State.
Mr Roy also said waste management is a humongous opportunity for industry as well. “Here is a chance to recycle wastes into resources and wealth. I also call upon you to spend some part of your CSR funds into solid waste management as well,” Mr Roy said.
In what could provide a huge relief to water-stressed people, especially the poor, in Darjeeling, the West Bengal government has set about implementing a Rs 24-crore rainwater harvesting project for slum dwellers in the hill town, Mr Roy said.
“For nine months a year, slums in Darjeeling, which are not connected to normal water supply, will get drinking water and washing water. The funding is being provided by Global Climate Facility Funding. This is the first time a rainwater harvesting project at such a big scale is being implemented in the state,” he said. The Municipal Engineering Directorate is executing the project the tendering for which has already begun.
Mr A K Raybarman, Chief General Manager, NABARD, explained why and how converting wastes into a variety of organic manures will lead to a healthy and sustainable environment. “Efficient management of wastes is an imperative to make wastes rich resources for people living in both urban and rural areas. In an attempt to save the environment, NABARD is trying to sensitise farmers as to how organic manures and waste water harnessed in a pond will reap rich dividends for them,” Mr Raybarman said.
Earlier, Mr Sumit Dabriwala, Chairman, CII Kolkata Task Force & Director, Hiland Projects Ltd, set the context by saying that with the pressure of development and population growth increasing exponentially, there is an urgent need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to effectively and prudently convert wastes into wealth. “That will really make for a cleaner and happier society and sustainable development,” he said, adding that it is time to reinvent waste disposal methods.
Mr Dabriwala also explained the key objectives of the Conference saying it seeks to provide a platform for interaction and exchange of ideas on various actions that need to be taken by all stakeholders - industrial houses, municipal bodies and society at large.
Mr Jayabrata Mukherjee, Managing Director, G P Green Energy Systems Private Ltd, said, “While waste generation is increasing at a frenetic pace in major urban areas, collection and disposal mechanism is not strong enough. Positive interventions and revamping the entire management process is an imperative.”