Solid Waste Management
Around 350 tonnes of waste are collected from the city every day. There are around 71 acres of land with the Corporation at the outskirts of the city near the highway. A ten year old waste treatment plant having the capacity of treating 500 tonnes of waste per day has been resurrected with the help of JNURM funds and now has a Reduced Diffuse Fuel (RDF) facility. Briquettes are made after treating and compressing segregated wastes that have got usable calorific value. The briquettes can help thermal energy requirements of various industries. Recently, trials were held on its usage with Ambuja Cement that gave promising results. New plans are being made to expand the scale of operations by engaging nearby companies and, we might see private operator running the plant from those briquettes.
The Corporation’s land can be used to expand operations when required to treat the most amount of waste and produce energy from it. At present about 20% of the waste lands up in landfills; after segregation and treatment, we aim to reduce it. With further advancements in technology, waste landing in landfills can be lowered to less than five percentages. Better the segregation and treatment, lesser will be the land requirement.
The Corporation collects only household wastes and wastes from hotels, markets etc. So most of the wastes collected are organic. Biomedical waste from hospitals is collected and disposed of through an incinerator built in collaboration with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and a private company. The disposal is done in accord with the rules meant for bio-medical waste disposal. The waste from the hospitals is collected by a private contractor while the Corporation collects fees from the hospitals on per bed basis on behalf of the contractor.
Door-to-door waste collection was started ten years earlier; the total coverage is around 70-80%. Waste collection again is outsourced to a private contractor by a tender signed in 2008. Since the city has grown manifolds since then, we are looking for more contractors that can effectively cater to the growing requirements. A new contract is supposed to sign to hand over the waste collection to four companies that will cover the entire city. With the new contracts in place, we hope to reach 100% waste collection.
Investing waste to generate energy…
The German government and its technological wing Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have installed a new waste to energy plant with advance technology in Nashik that is yet to be applied anywhere across India. The tendering is in the process to choose an Indian partner that would help in constructing and operating the plant. The German government has assured to finance the plant by granting seven crores for the project. The Corporation would give logistical support to construct and operate the facility through a jointly chosen local partner. The plant will receive organic waste from the Corporation including black water i.e. waste-water from toilets. The required electricity too is to be fed by the Corporation. This plant will have the same premises as the solid waste management plant has.
Mechanized cleaning is now being adopted in the city. Two small cleaners to remove dust from the roads have been bought from the JNURUM fund and are being used for the past three months on a pilot basis. Mechanization of road cleaning will be taken forward based on the responses received.
Effluent Treatment and pollution control
Treatment of industrial effluents comes under the jurisdiction of the MIDC and MPCB. But the agencies have come to a conclusion that the industrial effluents should be treated by five ETP under Corporation control. The effluent will be carried from the industrial areas of the 310 mid plants. The plants treat the majority of the effluent produced and presently only 50 made of effluent goes untreated. Establishing more plants to curb the shortfall is on the agenda.
Improper effluent discharge in the Godavari has polluted the river. Along with MIDC and MPCB, the Corporation aims to reduce the effluent discharge into the river by small industries on the banks of the river, by setting up ETPs. Solid wastes ending into the river are contaminating the river. Since Nashik is a religious place, there are loads of offerings and other leftover wastes that end up in the river. Arrangements have been made for the wastes to be collected before they are dumped into the river. Corporation workers manually clean up the site of the river to remove pollutants. For comprehensive cleaning of the river, tenders have been floated for robotic excavators to collect the silts and other deposits in addition to the solid waste. This concept is being used in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation; it will soon be implemented in Nashik too.
Initiatives for sanitation
There is a training institute for workers involved in MSW management. It is a joint venture between Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran and the Corporation with support from GIZ. The objective is to train people to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in the city. The trainers are provided by MJP and the GIZ and the facility is provided by the Corporation. The training is used for raising awareness about the use of various technologies in waste management, hygiene and sanitation. Corporation staffs participate in the training at all levels.
Monsoon preparation began well in time; the sewers and storm drains were cleaned, the waste collected was properly disposed off and garbage dump sites were also cleared. Since monsoon arrived earlier than expected some difficulties were faced. We focused on the slum pockets that usually surround the drains, and are in more danger of flooding. Initiatives were taken to clean up the surrounding areas to minimize the risk of flooding. It was found that plastic waste was the main reason for flooding. The plastic bags get carried to the chambers of drains blocking them and causing overflows and flooding.
Most public toilets are to be erected in the city sanitation plan. A study is being carried out about the requirements for adult toilets including the disabled and children. Efforts have been made to maintain the already established public toilets efficiently. There are complaints regarding hygiene in the Corporation maintained toilets; we are looking at increasing cleanliness for the same.
The Corporation runs a continuous cleanliness awareness campaign that uses various forms of media to reach out to the public. There is no structured campaign for cleanliness as it is a little difficult to encompass the whole city for the program. Small vehicles go into narrow streets and educate the people on the timings of the garbage pickups, so that waste is not deposited outside in a public place. Nashik is a bin-free city and we aim to reclaim back the title of maintaining a clean Nashik. Such efforts, made for the betterment of the city may take time to yeild desired results, but we will slowly reach the goal.