Managing Solid Waste in Urban India

Management of solid waste is a serious challenge to India’s urban governance. The ‘development as urbanisation’ approach has been well-accepted among policymakers and the public, so waste creation and management fit within the urban life. Unfortunately, waste management has become the issue and not the waste generation. Mohammed Irshad examines the major challenges of solid waste management in India and suggest remedies for the problem. Writer is Assistant Professor, at Jamsetji Tata School of disaster studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.Mumbai Is Being Buried Under a Mountain of Its Own Trash

In some places, the rural areas are often forced to bear the brunt of urban waste. This is quite evident from the recent conflict over waste management in Kerala. In the Lalur, Vilappilshala and Kureepuzha waste dumping yards, the local communities are resisting waste dumping in their respective localities. Health and hygiene are the major concerns which force the local community to resist waste dumping. The peculiar social development of Kerala is the root cause of such larger public resistance against solid waste disposal. However, a close examination of the condition of people living in and around the Govandi dumping yard in Mumbai city, would force one to revisit the claims of people’s resistance against dumping in Kerala. It does not mean that one should not listen to the people’s concern. It is about how two different socio-economic conditions define the norms of solid waste management.

The Govandi dumping yard became inevitable since the Dharavi dumping yard in the city reached its maximum capacity. The Govandi yard is not in
any isolated area of the city; it is in the middle of the slums where thousands of people live and eke out a living by segregating solid waste. The purpose of narrating this case is to provide another dimension of solid waste management in India. In Kerala, the villagers are opposing what the people in Mumbai are welcoming, as the people of Govandi are living in the area are considered as illegal residents, but the municipal corporation does not evict them. The slums around the Govandi dumping yard are considered as illegal since it has come up after 1995 (slums which are established after 1995 are considered as illegal slums, and now the Mumbai corporation is planning to put the year 2005 as cutoff year).

…………..(Read the best part of this article from the September Issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)


Author: SubEditor

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