Deputy Municipal Commissioner Solid Waste Management,
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
In a conversation with Construction Times, Tushar Pawar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner Solid Waste Management, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation speaks about the steps taken to sustain the city as one of the cleanest among Indian cities.
Sustainability is critical for any project. And NMMC has successfully maintained the top position as the cleanest city in India. What are the steps taken by the corporation to be the cleanest?
When it comes to garbage, the main focus is on Reduce, reuse and recycle. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation is one of the first corporations in India, which has 100% daily collection of garbage, 100% transportation and 100% processing as well. Daily the corporation collects around 750 metric tonnes of garbage. The corporation has outsourced collection and transportation. We have deployed 69 compactors, and 50 mini tipper lorries and 8 Refuse vehicle which is commonly referred to as dumbers are used for the same. That means under the NMMC area, and there are 120 vehicles are being used for a garbage removal.
Monitoring is critical when it comes to garbage collection. All these vehicles have been fitted with the GPS system, which enables the officers to monitor the vehicular movement in real-time. Every ward officer, sanitary officers have been given access to this on their mobile so that they can trace the vehicle regularly.
A significant difference between the other corporations and Navi Mumbai corporation is that this office has already distributed more than 14000 waste bins to housing societies. All these bins also have RFID tags for better monitoring. Sitting in the control room, we can easily say whether the particular container has been lifted or not?
Green bins for wet waste and blue bins for dry waste. That enables us to find out which of the bins have been cleared and which is not cleared?
Plastic is a menace which is creating havoc in the ecosystem. Elaborate on the measures taken by the corporation?
Plastic is one significant item in the solid waste to handle. All know the problem plastic creates, but no one wishes to move away from plastic because of its multi-faceted usability. After Maharashtra banned plastic in March 2018, NMMC has implemented it very seriously. In the last one year, we have seized 55 tonnes of plastic from traders and fines collected in this period is over Rs 58 lakhs. We have deployed 8 controlling units for the same purpose (ward wise).
What is the volume difference you saw in waste after the plastic ban?
There witnessed a reduction of 15-20 tonnes in collected waste under the Navi Mumbai Municipal region after the plastic ban. This significant reduction is pure because of the plastic ban.
Green initiatives and waste management go hand in hand. Elaborate on the efforts by NMMC.
Could you elaborate on the way the waste is segregated?
After 2016 NMMC has made it compulsory for societies to do source segregation of waste. Currently, 80 per cent of the waste is segregated at the source itself in the municipal area. The challenge is in the areas of slum and village nodes. The lack of society is resulting in significant issues. However, we have had community bins in these areas. But monitoring of these bins and clearing the containers from these areas was a concern. Now to address that we have started decentralised composite units in these areas. These initiatives were started 6 months back in Indira Nagar in Turbhe and waste is collected from 2000 houses daily. These homes are equally divided among 8 rag pickers. These people are giving trash in a segregated manner from these slums as well now. NMMC pays the remuneration of these ragpickers. The corporation is aiming to cover all 40 slums in waste management within a year’s time.
What happens to the segregated waste?
Dry waste is recycled, wet waste is disposed of properly, plastics are sent for bitumen making etc. So saying, it is not getting just thrown to the dumping area.
The migration is growing, so is the population under the corporation. Do we have the capacity to absorb the waste that is being created?
Floating population is more in NMMC area. According to the economic standards, the waste is indeed increasing. And it wouldn’t be sustainable if the corporation takes an entire load of waste management on to his side. So from 2016, it is mandated that housing societies which have got more than 100 flats are required to do waste segregation and wet waste management at source. Space is a concern for many societies. But they have used whatever area have with them for the said purpose.
While many of the corporation in other countries have successfully converted waste into energy, we lag behind. Elaborate on NMMC’s action in this direction.
A pilot project is already underway in similar lines. APMC, one of the largest vegetable markets in the city limits produces 40 to 50 tonnes of pure wet waste per day. A Waste to energy plant of 50 tonnes capacity has been set up inside the Sewage treatment plant in Vashi.
We expect this plant to be operational in the current year.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
NMMC has been pioneering in many fields, and the corporation has been on the top positions when it comes to solid waste management. While in the Maharashtra State Swachh Survekshan ranking it is number Uno and in the national ranking, it is in the seventh position. Swat Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns across India. The Commissioner is optimistic about making it to the first three positions in cleanliness chart in this current year.
He spoke in length about the initiative the corporation is undertaking such as the sewage lines in slum areas, treatment of sewage water for industrial use, optimisation of liquid waste management. He said that recycling and reuse are very important for a sustainable future.
His focus currently is on improving the waste management under the corporation. He said, “The corporation, with the help of technologies like RFID, smartwatches and geotagging is periodically monitoring the waste collection in the area. The officers, with these smart technologies, are updated on a real-time basis on the movement of collectors, vehicles etc. The geotagged photos clicked from the site leaves less room for tampering. That is helping the authorities to keep this satellite city clean.”
He added that NMMC has been very keen on controlling open defecation, and the corporation has succeeded in its efforts. The corporation is open defecation free now. The public toilets have played a significant role in this. Now, the aim is to increase the toilets seats in the public area.
Maintaining toilets are also equally important as creating the facility. In order to make sure cleanliness in the toilets, the same procedures are followed. Periodical inspections, surprise checks etc. are routinely followed.
Every individual equally has a significant role in keeping the city clean, he signed off.