Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recently during a discussion in the context of payment of tipping/gate fee to operators of MSW treatment plants, it was very interesting to hear a very senior municipal official say that "solid waste is our asset". My reaction to this was "Do they consider their open dumps of waste as fixed deposits?"

Our municipalities are still hoping that some day a private operator will provide Mida's touch and convert their MSW into gold ! With this as the over-riding paradigm, it is very difficult to help them realise the need for payment of gate fee to the operator in lieu of the essential service being rendered by the latter for (a) reducing waste volumes (b) rendering it safe for disposal into a landfill, and above all (c) assisting the former in discharging their constitutional responsibilities for protection of environment and public health.

With the concerns raised by the Hon. Minister of Urban Development recently on sustainability of MSW and sewage treatment plants, let's hope that we will soon hear the ULBs taking a call on this difficult issue.

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