Advising against looking at just landfill solutions for its garbage problem, Public Affairs Centre (PAC) Founder Dr Samuel Paul said Bangalore needed to emulate successful examples like Kanpur.
Bangalore generates around 5,000 tonnes of waste everyday. However, the solution comes at a price.
The civic agency has to shell out money and provide land to private companies that collect and recycle waste.
What Kanpur Does
“The project, which started in 2010, changed the whole scenario and is helping us keep Kanpur clean,” Kanpur Additional Municipal Commissioner U N Tiwari told Express. “We have given 46 hectares of land and pay around Rs 1.8 crore a month to the private firm that takes care of all aspects of solid waste management. Part of the money given to the firm is generated through the nominal user development fee collected from households, shops, commercial and industrial establishments and ranges from Rs 30 to Rs 80 a month.
” A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited which is implementing the project on build-own operate-and-transfer (BOOT)-model collects around 1,300 tonnes of garbage everyday. It is processed at our plant to make bio-fertiliser bags, bricks and tiles and waste is also used to generate power. All waste is recycled,”said A2Z CEO Manoj Mishra.
“We are doing it in many cities. It can be replicated in Bangalore or any other city,” Mishra told Express.
Wet waste is used for producing bio fertilizers and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)- goes to a power plant—inorganic waste is used for bricks and tiles and plastic for making plastic sheets.
“When a town like Kanpur can do it, why not Bangalore?” asked Dr Paul. “In Bangalore, door-to-door collection is not done properly, they have no system to collect waste from commercial establishments, while waste from vegetable markets is thrown on streets. It is all a big failure,” he observed.
"Why are the BBMP and Government not doing it? It shows either they are incapable of doing their job properly or they are corrupt."
Kanpur got the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission’s (Jn- NURM) best city award for improvement in solid waste management in 2011.
Though the industrial town with its population of around 36 lakh is small compared to Bangalore, a similar model can be implemented in any city with suitable changes.
Tiwari has a word of advice for Bangalore. “You have to spend money to keep your city clean and if you do not pay the company on time, quality will suffer. It is better to keep some buffer money since the user development fee collection can fully pick up after two to three years.”
Not Without Controversies
Kanpur project has its own share of controversies. Recently some elected representatives, including some ministers reportedly expressed displeasure and stated the project is helping the private company and not the city. In fact, like Bangalore, Kanpur too recently faced problem of not lifting garbage for a few days. The Municipal Corporation officials, however, maintain that they have been able to overcome the initial hiccups and the project is working well.