Environmentalists and members of the civil society have declared their opposition to the state government’s decision of installing a waste-to-energy plant in Bandhwari, saying the model is unsuited to Indian cities.
According to environmentalists, the system’s major drawback is that it is a centralised one, which discourages the practice of segregation at source. The Union ministry of urban development and National Green Tribunal have been pushing for waste segregation at source, which is also a more environment-friendly garbage management strategy.
“Almost 60% of Indian waste is wet waste, with a very high quantity of kitchen waste. This has very low energy and is hence unsuitable for power generation. As a result, ultimately, a large percentage of the garbage will still end up in landfills, beating the whole point of waste management,” said Keshav Jaini, president, RWA, Garden Estate, who has been working on waste management for several years.
Another big argument put forward by experts and environmentalists is that by burning waste, the model is likely to cause air pollution. “As per NGT guidelines, waste has to be segregated and detoxified with bio-culture, before it can be burnt. Or else, it will release noxious fumes, polluting the air further,” said a national-level solid waste management expert. She requested not to be named.
Gurgaon has seen several examples of schools and residential societies practising waste segregation at source, with many of their residents also involved in campaigning for a more sustainable zero-waste lifestyle. These societies include Garden Estate, Nirvana Country, Vipul Greens, Hamilton Court and Vastu CGHS.
“Across the city, so many people and societies are doing segregation and composting the natural and sustainable way. Instead of encouraging this, the proposed model goes on to discourage waste segregation at source and decentralised treatment plants,” said Neelam Ahluwalia, a former environmental journalist.
Among other problems involving waste-to-energy plants, the critic’s group has pointed out that such plants have failed in Europe and China. Instead of taking ideas from China, which is itself battling high pollution levels, we should look for suitable models within the country. The waste-to-energy plant, proposed in Gurgaon, is in partnership with a Chinese player.
Source Link – TOI
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