“Sustainable waste management is the need of the hour, which involves managing waste in an environmentally sound, socially satisfactory and techno-economically viable manner. The waste management hierarchy demands firstly, avoiding generation of waste, followed by reducing, reusing, recycling, recovering, treating and disposing whatever wastes produced. The fundamental objective should be to maximize re-use and recycling so that minimum land space is occupied for disposal and at the same time, natural resources and energy are saved” said the Union Minister of state (I/C) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs at the National workshop on “processing and use of construction & demolition waste on deconstruction & in-situ processing for ecology and economics which he inaugurated here today. Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, M/o Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India, Dr. Shailesh Kr Agrawal, Executive Director, BMTPC and senior officials were also present at the workshop.
During his address, Sh Puri stated that there is pressing need to bring awareness about the problem of waste management and the necessity to adopt proper procedure of collection, processing, recycling and use of C&D wastes in manufacturing of building components among different stake holders of the country. “In order to meet requirements of urban transformation and flagship programmes of our Government as regards housing and infrastructure, it is known fact that we can not continue to make use of conventional building materials which continue to depend on finite natural resources mainly drawing upon the carrying capacity of the eco system and often causes irreparable environmental damages. It is being increasingly recognized that raw materials from natural resources are being used at a faster rate than they are being replenished or alternatives being found. The challenge posed by the emerging trends of higher consumption levels has to be met within the concept of sustainable development, of which gainful utilization of waste is one of the important components”, he added.
Highlighting the problem, Sh Puri stated that often it is seen that building owners, waste haulers and demolition contractors improperly and illegally dispose off these wastes in gravel pits or ground water recharge areas, on farm land and prime residential property, borrow pits and low lying areas. Such stacks of wastes may choke the surface drains causing flooding of roads and low lying areas while wastes from individual house construction or demolition, often find its way to nearby municipal waste storage bin, waste storage depots, making the municipal wastes very heavy and unsuitable for further treatment, he said. The wastes which are buried at site itself, form impervious layer, which adversely affect the growth of vegetation and prevents the infiltration of surface runoff into the ground water table. Therefore, it is essential to properly manage the C&D wastes. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, under Environment Protection Act, 1986 has recently notified Management of Construction and Demolition Wastes Rules 2016 to provide an institutional framework for management of C&D Wastes. This gives timelines for the state government to formulate policy, identification of sites for collection and processing facility, commissioning and implementation of the facility and monitoring by State Pollution Control Boards, the Minister informed.
The proper implementation of the Notification is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders gathered here. Guidelines on Environmental Management of Construction & Demolition Wastes was brought out by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in March, 2017. CPCB guidelines address the issues pertaining to abatement of adverse environment impacts specifically arising from C&D waste management activities. BMTPC has also published Guidelines on Utilization of C&D Wastes as a useful resource for building materials and components. All these guidelines supplement each other and provide a technical and legal framework for effective utilization and management of C&D waste. In many developed countries, substantial part of its construction & demolition waste are re-used and recycled. In India, there are some significant initiatives such as C&D waste processing plants at Burari & Shastri Park in Delhi, use of C&D waste in East Kidwai Nagar Project in Delhi by NBCC and C&D Waste processing plant at Ahmedabad.
The minister also mentioned that major municipalities like Surat, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Rajkot have floated tenders and are at the verge of putting up C&D waste processing plants and many more processing plants are also understood to be in the process of getting installed in other parts of the Country.