Three model towns designated for scientific solid waste management

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has nominated three model towns, one each in three regions of the state, for launching an initiative for scientific solid waste management.

An official said Katra, Pahalgam and Leh have been designated as model towns by the Government for implementing Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 as recently directed by National Green Tribunal.

A Government order says the three towns located in Kashmir, Jammu and Leh divisions of the state will have to comply with the SWM rules within the next 6 months.

“These model towns shall be torch bearers for the other urban bodies for implementation of SWM rules 2016. They will serve as model towns in the state to be replicated subsequently in other towns and districts of the state,” reads the order issued by Housing and Urban Development Department.

J&K is ranked among bottom three states in terms of processing of the solid waste generated.

The State is able to process only 8% of the 1415 metric tonnes of waste generated every day.

According to data from Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Mizoram and West Bengal are the two bottom states processing only 4% and 5 % of solid waste generated respectively.

“Mizoram and West Bengal produced 201 metric tons and 7,700 metric tons of waste per day respectively. Jammu and Kashmir produced 1415 metric tons waste, but processed only 8%,” the Ministry data reveals.

Since 2012, the waste generation in the State has increased by over 18% when it stood at 2568 tons per day which went up to 2704 tons in 2013, 2844 in 2014 and 2987 tons per day in 2015.

The recently drafted solid waste management policy document of the State put in the public domain attributes the increase to the growing population.

However, the policy highlights failure of Urban Local Bodies and Municipal Bodies to “tackle the waste disposal on scientific basis” despite the municipal agencies spending up to 25% of their annual budget on these activities.

According to the Ministry data, 53% of the solid waste of 1.45 lakh metric tons generated in the country was processed until February this year with Chhattisgarh topping the list by processing 84% waste followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, a flagship program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New Delhi aims to attain 100% scientific management of solid waste and also make the country free from open defecation by October 2, 2019.

However, draft solid waste management policy of J&K has revealed that summer capital Srinagar alone continues to generate 400 metric tons of waste each day.

Earlier a National Green Tribunal report had given 31st rank to J&K for solid waste management policy while Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been ranked as 1, 2 and 3 respectively.