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12th Five-Year Plan

The objective of the Twelfth Plan is faster, more inclusive and more sustainable growth. The
vision of Indias urban growth must be aligned with the objectives of inclusion and
Urbanisation should be guided towards inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth of towns
and cities with proper civic amenities. Good urbanisation would ensure that towns and cities
are free from slums and provides adequate opportunities for productive employment and a
decent quality of life to all their inhabitants including the poor.
The smart cities of our vision would be engines of growth as they would increasingly
compete for investments nationally and internationally too. Therefore, cities must provide
world class infrastructure and services at affordable costs to give a competitive edge to the
economic activities they host. Besides, cities should be able to provide basic services to
migrant workers, their families and other vulnerable sections of society including women and
The future renewal of our cities should facilitate transition from informality of large
number of workers towards more formal livelihoods in line with their aspirations. They
should address various vulnerabilities including residential, occupational and social
vulnerabilities, associated with urban poverty. As an overriding principle, people should be
brought to the heart of the urban agenda, for both, deciding the vision of their city and for
choosing the process of reaching that goal. This implies that all citizens have access to basic
services of clean water, sanitation, sewage, solid waste management, urban roads, safe and
affordable public transport systems, affordable housing, and a clean and healthy environment.
Besides creating avenues for gainful employment, Indian cities should also meet the rising
aspirations of people for a better quality of life. Citizens should be proud of their towns and
cities and take responsibility for their cleanliness, safety and hospitality.
Environmental sustainability of Indian cities is another integral part of the vision. Future
growth should be consistent with cities natural endowments and the economic potential of
the region in which they are situated. All cities should be efficient in using available
resources particularly energy, water and land.
Our cities must also preserve and foster their cultural and historical heritage and benefit from
the tourism potential of their heritage and natural endowments.

Sewerage, Drainage and Solid Waste Management

The Ministry of Urban Development should work towards the implementation of the National
Urban Sanitation Policy. Cities should be encouraged to formulate city-wide sanitation plans
and all the States shall be encouraged to adopt State Sanitation Strategies. These activities
should be supported under JNNURM-II.

Reuse Treated Sewage for Industrial Applications

Cities should be encouraged to meet part of their water supply, at least for industrial use,
by reusing/recycling waste water. Incentives may be provided to users (through water
tariff, property tax and so on) to recycle and reuse treated wastewater. These should also
be incorporated in building byelaws for new constructions.
Ministry of Urban Development should support these activities through financial and
policy support through various schemes. While the major intervention would be under the
JNNURM-II for preventing manual handling of human excreta, a separate sub-scheme for
achieving the goals of the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP) shall be formulated n
the Twelfth Plan.

Solid Waste Management Issues

Lack of Knowledge of the Local Bodies

Local bodies adopt casual approach for the management of solid waste. Most of the
municipalities are not aware of the ways and means to dispose off solid waste that is
generated in their respective towns. Even the collection and transportation system of
solid waste is not up to the mark. Major chunk of the revenue generation from the city is
eaten away in managing the solid waste, which is done inefficiently.

Non-availability of suitable Land for Solid Waste Disposal in


Friendly Manner
In most of the towns, no land is earmarked for the disposal of solid waste, neither as
landfill site nor for disposal through other techniques. The Master/Development Plans,
prepared by the Town Planning Department, do not reflect this aspect. Many a times,
land is earmarked for sanitation purpose, which includes the disposal of solid waste as
well as a site for sewage treatment plant, which is insufficient for either use. Since
location of the land plays an important role, therefore, it should be located in such a way
that solid waste is disposed off in decentralized manner so that the transportation cost
for the solid waste is optimized.

of Public Awareness

People are not aware of the harmful effects of solid waste that litters around in towns
and cities in the region. There is need for arranging awareness campaign in this regard.

of Funds

Local bodies do not have funds to handle this kind of waste and in future, as discussed
above, the quantities are likely to increase manifolds. In case the waste is not handled
and disposed off in a scientific manner, it will reach unmanageable proportions in future.
In view of this, the local bodies should improve their financial condition through better
management and improve their revenue generation capacity. It should also examine the
alternative options for optimization of transportation costs of solid waste.

Piecemeal Approach for Handling of Solid Waste

Local bodies do not have any Waste Management Plan for their towns/cities. The state

of affairs is such that when the NCR Cells contacted the local bodies for data on solid
waste to create database for solid waste management, some of the local bodies were
not even aware of the quantum of solid waste generated in their town. Local
bodies/municipalities are adopting piecemeal approach in this regard.

Strategy formulated
As a general approach, Ministry of Urban Development should work with the States to
the following strategies:
The recovery of recyclables is presently being done in an unorganised manner. This needs to
be replaced with informal arrangements of rag pickers and NGOs/CBOs who could also be
involved for facilitating effective door-to-door collection.
Acquisition/earmarking of land required for the project should be facilitated by proactive
guidelines/direction from the State. A Master Plan process should actively address this
The concept of regional solid waste management solutions need to be encouraged. This has
been taken up in Gujarat with a view to achieving economies of scale.

Why other five year plans are not effective:

Lack of data and inconsistency in existing data is a major hurdle while studying developing
nations. This report attempted to fill this gap by tabulating the per capita waste generation
rates and wastes generated in 366 Indian cities that in total represent 70% of Indias urban
population. This is the largest existing database for waste generation in individual cities in
India. Estimations made by extrapolating this data puts the total MSW generated in urban
India at 68.8 million tons per year (TPY) or 188,500 tons per day (TPD). The data collected
indicate a 50% increase in MSW generated within a decade since 2001. In a business as
usual scenario, urban India will generate 160.5 million TPY (440,000 TPD) by 2041 (Table
7); in the next decade, urban India will generate a total of 920 million tons of municipal solid
waste that needs to be properly managed in order to avoid further deterioration of public
health, air, water and land resources, and the quality of life in Indian cities. In a business as
usual scenario, India will not be able to dispose these wastes properly.
The composition of urban MSW in India is 51% organics, 17.5% recyclables (paper, plastic,
metal, and glass) and 31 % of inserts (Table 6). The moisture content of urban MSW is 47%
and the average calorific value is 7.3 MJ/kg (1745 kcal/kg). The composition of MSW in the
North, East, South and Western regions of the country varied between 50-57% of organics,
16-19% of recyclables, 28-31% of inserts and 45-51% of moisture (Table 6). The calorific
value of the waste varied between 6.8-9.8 MJ/kg (1,620-2,340 kcal/kg).
This report has also updated the Status of Cities and State Capitals in Implementation of
MSW (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, jointly published by the Central Pollution

Control Board (CPCB) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
(NEERI), with respect to waste disposal options.

Improper Waste Management in India

The study also found that open burning of solid wastes and landfill fires emit nearly 22,000
tons per year of pollutants into the air in the city of Mumbai alone. These pollutants include
Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrocarbons (HC), Particulate Matter (PM), Nitrogen Oxides
(NOx) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) plus an estimated 10,000 TEQ grams of dioxins/furans
(Appendix 14). Open burning was found to be the largest polluter in Mumbai, among the
activities that do not contribute any economic value to the city. Since open burning happens
at ground level, the resultant emissions enter the lower level breathing zone of the
atmosphere, increasing direct exposure to humans.

Informal Recycling
The author has observed that the role of the informal sector in SWM in developing nations is
increasingly being recognized. There is a world-wide consensus that the informal sector
should be integrated into the formal system and there are numerous initiatives working with
such goals. This report estimates that, every ton per day of recyclables collected informally
saves the urban local body USD 500 (INR 24,500) per year and avoids the emission of 721
kg of carbon dioxide per year.

Aerobic Composting (or Mechanical Biological Treatment)

There is no sufficient information on the performance of Indias MSW composting facilities.
However, an important observation made during this study is that the compost yields from
mixed waste composting facilities (MBTs) is only 6-7% of the feed material. Up to 60% of
the input waste is discarded as composting rejects and landfilled; the rest consists of water
vapour and carbon dioxide generated during the composting processes. The compost product
from mixed wastes was found to be of very low quality and contaminated by heavy metals.
The majority of the mixed waste compost samples fell below the quality control standards for
total potassium, total organic carbon, total phosphorus and moisture content; and exceeded
the quality control limits for heavy metals (lead, and chromium, Cr). If all MSW generated in
India in the next decade were to be composted as mixed waste and used for agriculture, it
would introduce 73,000 tons of heavy metals into agricultural soils.

Composting Rejects, and Waste-to-Energy (WTE)

This study also found that the calorific value (lower heating value) of some composting
rejects (up to 60% of the input MSW) is as high as 11.6 MJ/kg (2,770 kcal/kg). This value is
much higher than the minimum calorific value of 7.5 MJ/kg (1,790 kcal/kg) recommended
for economically feasible energy generation through grate combustion WTE (2). This data is
important, considering the notion that the calorific value of MSW in India is not suitable for
energy generation. Therefore, the residues of mixed MSW composting operations can be used
for producing RDF or can be combusted in a WTE plant directly.
Landfill gas (LFG) recovery has been shown to be economically feasible at seven landfills
located in four cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Development of these seven
LFG recovery projects will result in an overall GHG emissions reduction of 7.4 million tons
of CO2 equivalents. One of these landfills, the Gorai dumpsite in Mumbai, has already been

capped in 2008 for capturing and flaring LFG. This project will result in an overall GHG
emissions reduction of 2.2 million tons of CO2 equivalents by 2028.

Reforms and Desired Outcomes Related to Water Supply and

Reforms (water and sanitation sector)
Enact bylaws for reuse of recycled water.
ULBs to ensure accountability of the water supply utility by drawing service level
agreements with them.
Have road map for bringing down wastage.
Prepare a detailed database for the city relating to water supply and regularly update it
Draw up a roadmap, that is, city sanitation plan in accordance with the Urban Sanitation
Prepare a sewage master plan for the city.
Draw-up a roadmap for achieving Service Level Benchmark
Set tariffs on a scientific basis with cross subsidised* tariffs for the economically weaker
Have an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
Draw-up demand management measures.
Formulate ground water use by laws and enforce effectively energy conservation measures
especially in pumping.
* In general, since the charge can be only for water and one-time sanitation connection
charge, the charge for water must therefore cover O&M + Capex for water and sanitation for
all categories. For both water and sewerage, subsidy can be in terms of low charges for the
first x litres of water and higher than normal for the rest.

State level reforms

Set up a regulator for the sector.
Introduce policies to augment bulk water and resource allocation plans in alignment with
the basic requirements of the city
Transfer the water supply function fully to the cities
Follow the three RsReuse, Reduce, Recycle policy for waste management based on the
quantum generated
Provide incentives for waste water recycling policy incentives
Increase resource provision for augmentation of sewage system/toilets for weaker sections
Prepare a regional solid waste management arrangement (to have larger aggregation and
economies of scale)
Prepare implementable PPP policy for cities.

Desired outcome
Universal Access to Water and Sanitation
Hundred per cent Metering of water supply
Opt for 24 7 water supply wherever possible and feasible
Provide for step by step improvement in the operations of the water utility
Steadily bring down distribution inefficiencies by bring down wastage of water closer to
international best practice.
Successful examples of utilities such as Phnom Penh, Manila (East Zone) demonstrate that
reduction in NRW levels to below 20 per cent is possible even in developing country
Commit to given hours of supply and be accountable for it through citizen charters
Commit to quality of water to be supplied
Ensure that the cities are free from open defecation and measures for providing toilets
Community toilets especially in areas that are home to the economically weaker section
Provide sufficient no of public toilets/urinals in city
Hundred per cent collection of garbage from houses/establishments and straight
transportation for disposal
Conversion of waste to energy/other forms
Waste characterisation has to be done properly taking representative samples from the city
for various types of wastes and the treatment process should be selected accordingly.
Appropriate technology options for treatment of the organic content of the wastes should be
chosen based on the physical and chemical characteristics of the wastes and local conditions
and so on.

Urban Development
IEC (Information, Education and Communication) in order to educate households,
Staffs as well as personnel engaged in collection and management of waste about need for
segregation at source and improved sanitation is the most important element in success of a
SWM project. This must be accorded due and adequate priority.
Polluter Pay Principle should be implemented in a calibrated manner in order to instil a
sense of discipline with respect to throwing of litter by people without any concern for
In the area of solid waste management, a general approach should be to pursue the concept
of waste to wealth. PPP may also be explored/introduced for functions such as door-to-door
collection, street sweeping, transportation, treatment and so on.

Investment in Water and Sanitation

The scale of investment needed in this sector is substantial. In the past five years, JNNURM
has been an important game-changer in this sector, providing much needed public funding to
build and refurbish assets. Under JNNURM the bulk of the projects are for water and
seweragesome 70 per cent of the sanctioned cost of `60,000 crore.

Between 2005 and 2011, roughly `42,000 crore worth of water, drainage and sewage projects
were sanctioned under these schemes. This needs to be compared to the `3,700 crore
sanctioned for the same purpose in the 25 years before and the `5,000 crore sanctioned under
the river conservation programmes.
The High Powered Expert Committee Report on Indian Urban Infrastructure and Services
Pegs the total capital investment needed for infrastructure in the water, sewerage and stormwater sector at `7,54,627 crore over the next 20 years.
The average cost of a comprehensive water supply scheme under JNNURM is roughly `3
per mld. The average cost of a sewage project is `3.33 crore per mld. However, the cost of
building sewage treatment systems and networks under the Union governments revamped
Ganga programme averages over `5 crore per mld, with small cities like Munger in Bihar
getting as much as `7 crore per mld. It is clear that the huge backlog of provisioning of water
and waste services will require public investment. This investment must be carefully planned
to provide affordable services that can then be sustained.

Reform Agenda for the Twelfth Five Year Plan

Nothing less than a paradigm shift is required in the Twelfth Plan if we are to move towards
sustainable solutions to urban water and waste management.
First, we will have to reduce the length of the pipeline to bring water to homes, thus reducing
costs, including electricity and pumping costs and leakage. This means giving higher
priority to reviving local water bodies and recharging groundwater, so that we can source
water from as close as possible.
Secondly, we must use less, not more water in our homes, so that we have less to treat and
to dispose off.

Thirdly, we must also cut the costs and transportation of sewageuse decentralised
networks and use a variety of technologies to treat sewage as locally as possible. Finally, we
must begin to learn that we will have to reuse every drop of our sewage. It is even technically
possible to turn it into drinking water but at the very least we should plan to
recycle and reuse it in our gardens, in our industries or use it (after treatment) to rejuvenate
natural water.
Planning for urban water and sanitation must be made into essential pre-conditions for any
support to urban projects under JNNURM. This should include:
Plan to supply water at affordable costs to all Invest in protection and management of
water systems
Reduce water demand and intra-city inequity in water supply and sanitation
Invest on sewage first and water supply next
Reduce costs on sewage systems so that investment can reach all
Reinvent sewage management and treatment systems for sustainability
Plan to recycle and reuse every drop of water and waste