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CPCB warns municipalities across the country to clean up their act

Worried by a recent inspection of waste management of towns situated along River Ganga and other major cities, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued a diktat to 118 local bodies situated along the Ganga, 20 state capitals and 46 major cities with a million plus population to pull up their act. CPCB, which functions as the environment ministry’s pollution monitoring body, found out from state boards that 1.44 lakh metric tonnes municipal solid waste (MSW) was generated every day and shockingly, only 28% of it is disposed or processed scientifically. This has led to leaching of toxins in groundwater across urban and peri-urban areas accelerating environmental degradation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The CPCB, in its notice to all urban local bodies, has thus asked them to prepare a time-bound action plan that has to be submitted to the environment ministry by year-end. “We are also finalising Waste Management Rules and will be publishing these Rules by the year-end. Our inspection has brought to the fore a dismal picture of negligence by some municipalities towards municipal Solid Waste Management”, said Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. In the comprehensive directions issued by CPCB, municipalities have been asked to seek authorizations from state boards and initiate plans for segregation of solid waste, proper collection, storage, transportation and ultimately reduce the burden of landfills to zero or a minimum level by processing MSW scientifically.Across the country, even mega cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are heavily burdened under its burgeoning waste problem and none of them have landfills where scientific processes are used to process and minimize waste. Meanwhile, in urban agglomerations and peri-urban areas, even landfills do not exist in most instances. The environment ministry is now in the last stages of finalizing the new Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2015, that were prepared after the Karnataka High Court stayed the 2013 draft calling it ‘regressive’. The 2015 draft rules have stressed the need to deal with existing dumpsites or landfills that are overflowing.The rules ask urban local bodies to “close down, remediate wherever feasible and cap the existing dumpsites, which are not engineered landfill sites. In fact, for twin cities or group of cities, the rules have asked for establishment of common landfills falling within 50kms (or more) radius on a cost sharing basis. This may usher in creation of common waste handling facilities for several metros and neighbouring cities such as Mumbai – Navi Mumbai and National Capital Region.

Govt to raise one battalion of Ganga Task Force

In his reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said that the Ministry of Defence has agreed to raise one battalion of Ganga Task Force initially for monitoring the pollution through ex-servicemen living along River Ganga.

River Ganga

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The Defence Ministry has agreed to raise one battalion of Ganga Task Force initially, comprising ex-servicemen who will be residing along the river for monitoring pollution, Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.In his reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said that the Ministry of Defence has agreed to raise one battalion of Ganga Task Force initially for monitoring the pollution through ex-servicemen living along River Ganga.Responding to another query on rejuvenation of River Ganga, the minister said that Germany, Australia, Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands have expressed interest to support Ganga rejuvenation through knowledge/technology sharing and providing financial/technical assistance for cleaning up of Ganga, capacity building, research and development, sharing of experiences, expertise and best practises. PTI YKS<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PM Modi reviews progress of Swachh Bharat; says building toilets along Ganga a priority

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday directed central government departments concerned with the ‘Clean India’ mission to coordinate with states which are lagging in toilet construction, and suggested involving spiritual leaders to create awareness about the programme.

Prime MInister Narendra Modi. AFP

Prime MInister Narendra Modi. AFP

He also underlined that construction of toilets in habitations on the banks of River Ganga should receive the highest priority.

During a meeting in the capital to review the progress of the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, the Prime Minister was also briefed on the progress towards toilet construction in all the states.

After comprehensively reviewing the situation, he directed officers concerned to specially coordinate with states which are lagging in toilet construction, a PMO statement said.

On efforts to generate awareness and attitudinal change towards cleanliness, Modi said, spiritual leaders should be associated with such efforts, especially during major congregational events such as the Jagannath Yatra and the Kumbh Mela.

He said motivational incentives such as awards should also be instituted through official channels.

In rural areas, Modi suggested organising quiz competitions among students to promote awareness.

The Prime Minister called for leveraging the “huge interest” that ‘Swachh Bharat’ has generated among the Indian diaspora, the statement said.

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh were also present at the meeting.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for swift action to stop pollution of River Ganga

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a time-bound swift action and single-minded focus to stop pollution of the River Ganga, while chairing a high-level meeting on the ‘Namaami Gange’ project. The Prime Minister reiterated that the Namaami Gange vision should focus primarily on two main areas to check pollution at the source. The pollutents include urban sewage and industrial effluents. Ganga ko ganda na karen, PM Modi emphasized. Prime Minister Modi was briefed extensively on critical hotspots along the stretch of the river, which generate the most pollution. The existing gaps in sewage treatment capacity were highlighted. A total of 764 grossly polluting industrial units have been identified along the stretch of the Ganga. Tanneries, pulp and paper and sugar industries account for over three-fourth of this number. The Prime Minister also emphasized the need to promote recycling of industrial waste water. He said industrial units should be motivated suitably to stop pollution, failing which action should be initiated within the framework of existing laws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for exploring the possibility of setting up modern, environment-friendly crematoria along the River Ganga, through private initiative and enterprise. The concept of a network of volunteers to help end pollution of the river – Ganga Vahini – has been approved. Steps are being taken to operationalize this network. 118 Urban Local Bodies have been identified to be covered within five years, in a targeted attempt to control pollution. The Prime Minister was also briefed on the ongoing sewerage and river front development projects in the meeting attended by Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Uma Bharati, Prakash Javdekar and top Government officials. Also Read: Ganga will transform in five years: Prakash Javadekar