Meeting at BARC on management of bio-degradable waste
The Bio-Science Group of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
organised a brainstorming session on October 22 to discuss a policy
for implementation of the NISARGRUNA BIO-METHANATION TECHNOLOGY
in Mumbai and also in various parts of the country. (A pilot
project for implementing the NISARGRUNA BIO-METHANATION TECHNOLOGY
has been successfully running at Shatabdi Hospital, Govandi. It
is a joint venture of the BMC, BARC and Stree Mukti Sanghatana.)
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman
Atomic Energy Commission. Shri Achyut Gokhale, Secretary, Ministry
of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Government of India, had been
specially invited to attend the meeting. Shri Srikumar Banerjee,
Director BARC, was also present.
Several senior representatives from BMC, Government of Maharashtra,
MMRDA, MPCB and Municipal Corporation of Navi Mumbai attended
the meeting, to which I too was invited. Smt. Jyoti Mhapsekar
an Smt. Sulakshana Mahajan represented the Stree Mukti Sanghatana.
Dr. S.P. Kale, an eminent scientist at BARC who has spearheaded
the pilot project, made a presentation on Nisargruna Bio-Methanation
Technology after initial remarks by Dr. Kakodkar. This was
followed by presentations by Shri A.K. Jain, head of the SWM Cell
at the All India Institute for Local Self Government, Mumbai,
and Shri R.R. Markandeya, Chief Engineer (SWM), BMC. I briefly
spoke about the NGO Council's efforts in the area of cleanliness.
Smt. Mhapsekar described the role of waste-pickers in efficient
In the post-lunch session, participants visited the Nisargruna
plant at Govandi.
The meeting yielded three important
1) There was unanimity among participants that bio-degradation
of wet waste should be taken up on an urgent basis and on a
visibly large scale in Mumbai, as part of a broader plan to
make the city clean. It was emphasised that decentralised management
of biodegradables by the BMC, with ward-level micro-planning and
active citizens' participation, was critical to the success of
the strategy. It was felt that a beginning should be made
with bulk generators of wet waste (hotels, restaurants, clubs,
etc.). There was focused discussion on setting up a biodegradation
plant with a capacity of 25 or 50 tons per day at the BMC's facility
at Colaba to cover all the wet waste generated in A Ward.
There was consensus on the need for the BMC to unveil a
comprehensive and integrated policy to invite private investment
and NGO participation in setting up decentralised biodegradation
plants in different parts of the city. Shri Jain offered to prepare
a policy framework.
2) BMC representatives Shri Markandeya and Shri Sanglikar
(Dy. Chief Engineer, SWM) showed positive inclination for making
land at BMC's defunct pumping stations available for setting up
decentralised biodegradation plants in different parts of the
3) Shri Gokhale, Secretary MNES (Govt of India), offered
to provide "attractive" subsidy from his ministry (to
be routed through the state government's MNES) for at least 1000
such decentralised waste-to-energy plants in Maharashtra .
He suggested a meeting with Shri Vinay Kore, Minister of MNES,
Government of Maharashtra, for operationalisation of this scheme.
Coordinator, Cleanliness Group
23. October. 2005