paper has been written based on inputs from several experts in the
area of environment, officials from the Municipal Corporation of
Greater Mumbai and NGOs involved in work in various parts of Mumbai.
for a Clean Mumbai
Undertaken in the Recent Past
Any strategy for a cleaner Mumbai needs to
have the following elements:
Addressing the problem of Littering
Daily cleaning of the streets and public places
(preferably night cleaning with,
Adequate number of street litter bins at regular
An effective system of penal action against littering,
Addressing the problem of Garbage
Adequate arrangements for the chain of collection,
storage and transport of garbage generated by households and
commercial establishments in a sanitary manner in closed containers
Incentives and penalties to ensure segregation at
source and arrangements for separate chains for collection
Addressing the problem of Other Types of Waste
Arrangements for separate chains of collection and
transport of demolition wastes, silt from storm-water drains,
debris, bio-medical and hazardous wastes
Addressing the problem of open defecation
Adequate number of public/community toilet seats for
its residential and floating population
An effective system of penal action against open
Ensuring Appropriate Disposal of all Waste
The collected waste should be disposed of in a manner
that isenvironmentally safe and sustainable
Ensuring Safety of the Workforce
Workers involved in the cleaning, collection,
transport and disposal of waste are provided with the necessary
protective gear, tools and equipments required for their health,
safety and productivity;
Introducing Competition in the Solid Waste Management
A transparent system created through a system of user
charges to be paid by generators of waste.
Registration/ licensing of all public and private
entities involved in the handling, transport and recycling of waste
and putting in place a regulatory mechanism to regulate the licensed
Allowing licensed private operators to provide
services to the citizens dissatisfied with the services provided by
the primary public service provider ( e.g. the SWM department of
Initiatives undertaken in the Recent Past
Initiatives Undertaken in the Past
The Dattak Vasti Yojana for achieving cleanliness in
the slum areas through financial assistance to Community Based
which currently covers
% of slum areas.
A programme of construction of community / public, Pay
& Use toilets in slums (with the help of the World Bank) and
Involvement of Advance Locality Management Groups (neighbourhood
residents’ groups) for promoting segregation of waste at source
and vermi-composting in the premises of housing societies and
Supporting N.G.Os. to set up de-centralized Waste
Management Projects (composting and bio-methanation) to serve as
demonstration projects on municipal plots.
Supporting waste segregation activities of N.G.Os.
working with rag-pickers by providing sites, vehicles etc.
Setting up a system of biomedical waste (BMW)
collection, transport, treatment and disposal.
Besides the above initiatives, efforts were also made
to set up large scale Waste–to-Energy Plants, through private
operators at the dumping sites, which did not bear fruit due to
reasons beyond the control of the M.C.G.M. such as certain decisions
by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and the
Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES), all the other
initiatives have achieved varying degrees of success.
The limited success of some initiatives
The ALM movement did not succeed in achieving the
level of success achieved by the ALMs in a few pockets due to the
lack of a dedicated formal mechanism that can take care of training,
monitoring, feedback and evaluation of
a large and growing number of
ALMs and their activities and
an effective and sustainable model to incentivise local
residents to maximize segregation of garbage and do in-situ
composting of Bio-degradable Waste within the premises of Housing
Societies, colonies etc. The Dattak Vasti Yojana has been
constrained by the lack of funds and absence of arrangements for
training of C.B.Os as
well as proper monitoring and evaluation of their activities.
The Recent Initiatives
The following initiatives have been implemented by the
MCGM recently :
A scheme for engagement of CBOs and NGOs (mainly
Mahila Mandals) for sweeping and mopping of selected roads has been
established successfully despite severe opposition from employees’
unions. At present 142 Nos. of such units are in operation all over
Mumbai.A similar attempt in the area of transporting waste was
subverted due to the financial weakness of CBOs. It is being planned
to bolster this scheme with better supervision arrangements.
Under the guidance of the National Environmental
Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Dr. Maley Committee
appointed by the Hon’ble High Court, steps have been taken for
collection and treatment of leachate in a scientific manner at the
Under the guidance of NEERI and the Dr. Maley
Committee vents have also been provided at the dumping grounds to
release excess methane and this has resulted in substantial
reduction of fires occurring in the dumping grounds.
A programme for purchase and and installation of
litter bins and public garbage collection bins of international
standard in public places along with manning of all garbage
The MPCB has finalized a proposal for setting up
additional facilities for treatment of bio-medical waste and
stricter implementation of bio-medical waste handling and management
rules in the city of
which requires the MCGM to make additional sites for setting up the
A decision has been taken to strengthen the Dattak
Vasti Yojana and provide adequate financial support to extend its
coverage of slum areas.
Municipal Corporation faces several challenges on the path to a
Resistance to Change
A large workforce and unions of workers who resist
necessary measures such as night sweeping, outsourcing,
Entrenched lobbies of contractors engaged in the
business of transport of solid waste who operate at various levels
and stall any move to bring about radical changes in the nature of
contracts for collection and transport of solid waste.
Resistance to any move to introduce user charges for
waste collection and transport services on the basis of the
“polluter pays” principle to be able to expand, upgrade and
modernize the solid waste management services and practices.
Lack of Coordination amongst various agencies
Lack of proper coordination in waste management
activities between M.C.G.M and other organizations who own/occupy
large layouts such as the railways, the Mumbai port trust, MHADA
A large informal sector consisting of rag-pickers, ‘raddi-wallahs’,
scrap dealers and waste, recyclers whose role needs to be recognized
and who need to be made an integral part of the overall system of
solid waste management by a suitable method of compulsory
registration/licensing and concessions to promote waste recycling
Different departments and agencies responsible for
removal of garbage, cleaning of storm water drains, regulation of
hawkers, regulation of slaughter of animals and sale and pest
control respectively resulting in divided and diffused
Apathy to the Problem
A very large and growing slum population (65% of the
total population) living in congested areas, most of which have poor
drainage, practically no sanitation whether in terms of sewerage
lines, sanitary toilet seats or regular conservancy services
resulting in open nallas and open plots serving as sewers and
garbage dumps – both household and commercial.
The ‘NIMBY’ syndrome and the lack of appreciation
about the dire necessity of obtaining sites urgently for setting up
facilities and sanitary land fill sites.
Outdated Means & Methods
The lack of a strong regulatory regime governing
nuisances and waste management practices with adequately deterrent
penalties for non-compliance with rules.
Cleaning of open storm-water drains and nallahs before
the monsoons instead of keeping them clear of garbage round the
IL&FS Eco Smart Co. have been selected and
appointed as Consultants to study the condition of the dumping
grounds, and the characteristics and patterns of the solid waste
generated in the City and to make short term and long term
recommendations regarding :
The most economically viable and sustainable waste
An integrated waste disposal system including sanitary
land-filling and proper management of existing disposal sites as
well as the development of new waste disposal sites on lands
expected to be made available by the state government.
They will also advise and assist the MCGM to float
tenders for selection of developers who will build, maintain, manage
and operate the facilities in an integrated manner based on the
recommended technologies on a long term sustainable basis.
Various proposals for waste processing which have been
received by M.C.G.M. including composting, R.D.F. and
waste-to-energy and the NEERI-Maley Committee recommendations
submitted to the Hon. High Court are being scrutinized by the
Consultants and their recommendations are expected to be received by
the end of September. The
short term and long term implementation processes will begin
thereafter including the bidding process for selection of private
developers of waste processing facilities.
Draft guidelines for integrated management and
disposal of construction and demolition waste and silt have been
prepared and will be finalized shortly after discussion with all
concerned agencies. This will include charges to be collected from
generators to meet the costs of containerized collection, storage
and transport, tipping fees /gate fees to be charged at waste
disposal sites etc.
Tenders have been invited for engagement of
contractors for cleaning the Western and Eastern Express highways
and major arterial roads with the help of power sweeping machines.
A programme for up-gradation of uniforms, implements
and chowkies used by Solid Waste Management staff is being
The Dattak Vasti Yojana
for slum areas has been strengthened with a revised scheme
for greater financial support, and stricter norms of performance to
increase the coverage and effectiveness of the programme.
We are considering involving N.G.Os. in the training
of CBOs and monitoring and evaluation of the their work on a
sustainable basis. Discussions are on with the UNICEF to collaborate
with for this purpose in ten wards. A pilot project is already
initiated in H-east ward after the floods.
A model area based contract for Municipal solid waste
handling and transport including street cleaning other than
construction and demolition waste and silt is being drafted which
will ensure that payment and penalties are linked to strict
adherence to collection and transport schedules and maintenance of
cleanliness in the allotted areas while promoting reduction and
segregation of waste at source and increased recycling through a
system of separate waste collection streams, collection of user
charges, incentives and concessions. Distinct operation areas will
be carved out for Municipal and contractual operations respectively
to ensure accountability.
Since the SWM operations in most of the areas have to
be carried out departmentally due to the huge existing staff and
establishment, a suitable management structure and procedures which
will ensure economy, efficiency, service standards and
accountability on corporate lines are being worked out. While
retrenchment of existing staff is not envisaged the additional
requirement of manpower and machinery will be outsourced.
An agency is being appointed for third party
monitoring of visible solid waste in the form of cleanliness indices
for all wards, congested areas
A programme for up-gradation and improvement of
existing public toilet blocks on the basis of a new set of
guidelines and standards is being drawn up along alongwith a plan to
increase the availability of public toilets at all locations where
they are required. A proposal for the second phase of the world bank
aided slum sanitation programme has been submitted to the Govt. of
A time-bound programme for elimination of waste
collection bins from public roads (to be replaced by house-to-house
/ door-step collection) will now be launched in all the Wards after
successful pilot projects in H/West and G/South Wards.
A concept paper for introducing user charges for
providing door-step segregated waste collection services and /or
conservancy services in large sized residential / non-residential
internal layouts with a system of penalties and incentives for
segregation and waste reduction / recycling is proposed be prepared
after discussions with the MPCB and all concerned agencies /entities
such as the Railways, the Mumbai Port Trust, the MHADA, the Central
and State P.W.Ds. etc who have large estates and private entities
involved /interested in trade and recycling of waste materials.
International standard community garbage bins and
wheeled bins of different sizes have been introduced in some parts
of the City resulting in better storage and collection practices.
Such bins will be provided in a phased manner all over the City
after ensuring compatibility with garbage collection vehicles along
with high quality street litter bins this year and arrangements will
be made for such bins to be cleaned and manned properly.
Discussions are being held with NGOs for providing
them with manned neighbourhood
dry waste collection centers / kiosks which will be designed
aesthetically and can be located near public toilets, existing
public waste collection centers, sites from which collection bins
have been eliminated and other convenient places
where citizens /rag pickers can deposit /sell dry waste for
recycling or from where door-step collection of dry-waste can be
through authorized workers employed by
A system of compulsory registration in collaboration
with the MPCB of all N.G.Os., individuals and firms engaged in the
cleaning services, collection, transport, segregation or recycling
of waste of all kinds is being contemplated.
Discussions are being held with employees’ Unions
with regard to, work and productivity norms and re-deployment of
staff which will be required to effect some of the changes which are
planned along with better uniforms, safety gear, tools and working
conditions for them.
M/s McKinsey & Co. and IL&FS Eco-Smart are
working very closely with the Solid Waste Management Department of
MCGM on day-to-day basis for the preparation of time-bound plans for
developing a sustainable and integrated solid waste management
system covering all the above initiatives / programmes along with
the necessary structural and procedural changes required in the
Solid Waste Management Department for this purpose.
A public awareness programme along with a massive
cleanliness drive was planned for launch in October this year by
which time the preparatory work for all the new initiatives listed
above would have been over and comprehensive strategy and plan for
Solid Waste Management would have been announced. However in view of
the concerns regarding cleanliness and health which have been
generated due to the recent flooding of the city it is felt that the
cleanliness drive and awareness campaign should be launched
A massive cleanliness drive has been launched already
by the MCGM after the recent flooding of the city by pumping in
additional manpower and machinery and the results are evident in
many areas already. However, to sustain the drive the creation of a
supporting environment through public awareness and participation is
a must. The participation of the corporate sector, educational
institutions, celebrities, experts, mass media , creative and
communication agencies and N.G.Os.
is crucial for creating public
awareness . For this purpose it is proposed to quickly establish a
core group of advisors who can provide direction and co-ordination
and help to take forward this process as a public- private-citizen
Tough Decisions Required
political establishment has to be prevailed upon to take some bold
decisions such as:
Banning the use of plastic / Stern enforcement of
regulations for the manufacture and use of plastic
Involvement of the police in nuisance detection and
Dealing firmly with employee unions who oppose changes
which are required in the interests of economy and efficiency and do
not involve any loss of wages or retrenchment of existing employees.
Making land available at the earliest for developing
sanitary landfill sites and making finances available for developing
waste management infrastructure.
reasonable user charges to be levied for provision of doorstep
services and heavy penalties to be imposed for nuisances with
nuisance detectors being allowed to keep a part of the
collections as an incentive.
of tabelas within the city limits and shifting of slaughter
houses away from Mumbai city so that the entry of cattle, sheep
and chicken into Mumbai can be restricted.