Greenpiece: Mitigation of the climate crisis must be reflected at the municipal level
Why is the climate emergency not reflected in local governance?
Take the case of the waste-to-energy plant (WTE) at Gurugram’s Bhandwadi, in the ancient forest of Aravalli … It should treat the waste from Gurugram and Faridabad.
But the basics are ignored. Solid waste management rules require segregation, composting and recycling. Neither Faridabad nor Gurugram follow this.
If this were done in a decentralized manner, only around 20% of the waste would leave the services. Of this, dust and the like make up 15%, unsuitable for combustion.
Shouldn’t the remaining 10%, including multilayer packaging, be recycled through investments in new technology or landfilled until replaced?
We know from the experience of the Capital at the WTE factory in Okhla, that it is very difficult to control pollution.
Pollutants, including deadly dioxin, are tested once every four months. The results come a few weeks later. Until then, it’s business as usual. Nothing changes if he receives a fine.
This and the proposed Gurugram factory can harm us all, even if we live elsewhere: pollution travels. India is hit by dust from the Middle East and crop burning in Punjab is impacting Delhi.
The University of Chicago’s EPIC Center said 480 million Indians breathe air 10 times worse than WHO standards.
In Haryana, he said, people would live 8.4 years longer if the air met the standards.
Air pollution is part of the climate change pantheon. The central government is leading the global solar charge and climate change discourse. Why undo the vision at the municipal level?
(The author is founder and director of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)