How the local bodies can play crucial role in dealing with the construction and demolition (C&D) wastes?
The municipal corporations, municipalities and other urban local bodies have a crucial role in responding to the challenge of the rapidly growing volume of C&D waste in India.
Roles and responsibilities of the local bodies
C&D Waste Management Rules notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change mandate the local bodies to prepare waste management plans, notify bye-laws with penalties for non-compliance, and put in place enforcement mechanisms which include the recycling of C&D waste.
How local bodies can effectively discharge this duty?
- Waste generators must be made aware of the nature of the hazard posed by C&D waste.
- Providing for a framework mandating the deconstruction of buildings rather than a demolition because the deconstruction of buildings enables a much larger recovery of unmixed materials for reuse than mechanical demolition.
- Nudging to stack all waste from construction and/or demolition for large projects unmixed. So that the different heaps for soil, stones, bricks, cementations waste, plastics, wood, etc make reuse and recycling easier.
- Ensuring that the C and D wastes are kept off the roads, pavements and vacant sites and encourage its transport to recycling units.
- Municipalities must remove unauthorised dumpsites on vacant land public or private. The cost of transporting the waste to the recycling plants through must be recovered through a penalty from the owner.
- To ensure the debris are not dumped on the vacant sites, the local bodies must explore the beneficial uses of vacant sites without harming the rights of site owners but supporting the rights of neighbours for a pollution-free environment.
Initiatives which can be role model
Mumbai requires all debris from repairs to be brought down from upper floors only in used cement bags, not loose, and stacked for rapid removal. Similarly, Bengaluru, while giving sanction to building plans, also collects ground rent for the use of pavement for storing C&D materials for 1-2 years of construction. Such pavement use should be limited to 2-3 months or until completion of the first slab.
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