Q) India's cleanliness mission has been instrumental, particularly in reducing the prevalence of open defecation in. However there is a growing need to put equal emphasis on waste management particularly in urban centers. Comment. 250 Words
Topic GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design & implementation.
Introduction: Over the past few years, Swachch Bharat - Swasth Bharat gas been the slogan for cleanliness initiatives in India. However this cleanliness or swachhta has mainly focused on rural India with the flagship scheme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It mainly focuses on achieving open defecation free (ODF) status in India and thus provides subsidies for building of toilets. It however does little to address other aspects of waste management.
Growing Need for Waste management particularly in Urban areas:
1. Waste water management: Most of Sewage in India allowed to drain into the rivers untreated. This not only affects the health of the river and the aquatic life, it also affects the supplies of safe drinking water. Many rivers have turned toxic. For Example Yamuna in Delhi is referred to as a biological disaster.
2. Solid Waste management: There is limited infrastructure to handle the growing menace of garbage. There are mountains of garbage in the dump-yards in all major cities in India, which often catches fire and increases the air toxicity level. For example Deonar Dumbing ground in Mumbai.
3. Poor Recycling: There is a dearth of recycling capacity in India , because of lack of awareness and policy initiative regarding waste segregation at source.
4. Air Pollution: Apart from vehicular and power-plant emissions, this is caused due to untreated industrial emissions, solid waste and farm waste which is allowed to incinerate.
5. Bio-Waste management: It includes kitchen waste and farm waste which increases the microbiological activity and related toxicity when dumped in the open ground. This can instead used to produce manures and compost.
6. Hazardous waste management: With increasing importance of the electronic world the hazardous waste such as batteries, screens, lams, chipsets etc. increased the risk of poisoning of dangerous chemicals such as lead and mercury. This is making our grounds toxic.
7. Cooking oil: This again is a main source of eutrophication of water bodies when left untreated. This can instead be used to prepare bio-diesel.
Thus, it is clear that not only Open defecation, other aspects of cleanliness too need to be emphasised upon in order to have healthy India(Swasth Bharat). This however does not allow us to decrease the focus on ODF targets, because:
1. Although 36 states & UTs have been declared ODF, but still this is only on the basis of the toilet construction. Significant behavioural change is required to convert this into actual usage.
2. Still many of the toilets are dry latrines without sewer and water connection, which increases the risk of its abandonment.
3. Any casual approach in monitoring would lead to casual approaches on ground.
There fore there is much work on ground left.
Nonetheless there has been an increased focus on other aspects of cleanliness lately, by expanding the focus of Swachh Bharat mission.
• Solid waste management rules, E-Waste management rules, Plastic waste managmenet rules and Construction waste management rules have been implemented to boost recycling and waste managment
• National mission on biofuels and RUKO initiative to work on the organic wastes.
• National Clean Air Program and various other initiatives by CPCB are covered under Swachh Bharat mission.
• Jal Jeevan Mission to focus also on enhancing sewerage connection to each house along with tapped water.
Conclusion: the Budget 2020-21 has Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will be implemented over a period of 5 years from 2021-2026. It is focused on focused on complete faecal sludge management and waste water treatment, source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic, reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction-and-demolition activities and bio-remediation of all legacy dump sites. Such initiative would further boost the arena of SBM.