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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
17-May-2018 20:36 IST
Cleanliness the best way to promote hygiene and disease prevention, also creates a sense of social well-being and good mental health: Vice President

Innovative methods to dispose of residential, commercial and manufacturing waste needed; Releases two books ‘A Treatise on Cleanliness’ & ‘Waste Management, an Introduction’

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that cleanliness ensures hygiene and disease prevention and it also creates a sense of social well-being and good mental health. He was addressing the gathering after releasing two books - ‘A Treatise on Cleanliness’ and ‘Waste Management, an Introduction’, authored by Shri Rajat Bhargava, here today.

 

The Vice President said that it is apt that the author has chosen these subjects at an appropriate time when India is journeying through a phase of growth and development. He further said that cleanliness is next only to godliness. Cleanliness and waste management are not only linked to hygiene but management of resources as well, he added.

 

The Vice President said that there is a need to build awareness about the importance of a self-sustaining system of waste disposal and minimizing waste production. He further said that innovative methods to dispose of residential, commercial and manufacturing waste need to be implemented across the country. A wide spectrum of issues surrounds the implementation of waste disposal and thus, it is a great initiative to bring out a treatise on solid and liquid waste management, he added.

 

The Vice President said that waste treatment and disposal produces significant green-house gas (GHG) emissions, notably methane, which is contributing significantly to global warming. He further said that we need to continue to introduce clean technologies and build awareness about the impact of our practices on the environment. This will lead to sustainable development, and aid in achieving millennium development goals, he added.

 

The Vice President said that ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s ambitious project to make India a clean country. It brought about a much-needed change in the way we approach waste management, he added.

 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

 

“It gives me immense pleasure to release two books written by Shri Rajat Bhargava - ‘A Treatise on Cleanliness’ and ‘Waste Management, an Introduction’.

It is apt that the author has chosen these subjects at an appropriate time when India is journeying through a phase of growth and development.

It is said cleanliness is next only to godliness. Cleanliness and waste management are not only linked to hygiene but management of resources as well. In the light of this, the book assumes significance. I am happy to note that the book will come in handy for students and researchers as well.

While cleanliness gives us a practical assurance of hygiene and disease prevention, it also creates a sense of social well-being and good mental health.

There is a need to build awareness about the importance of a self-sustaining system of waste disposal and minimizing waste production. Clinical and sanitized methods to dispose of residential, commercial and manufacturing waste need to be widely talked about and implemented across the country.

A wide spectrum of issues surrounds the implementation of waste disposal. Thus, it is a great initiative to bring out a treatise on solid and liquid waste management.

On a global scale, waste management is still evolving. Approximately 330 million metric tonnes of waste was generated in 2003, and has exponentially increased in the last 15 years. Fast rates of development, growth in population and the increase in industrial activity, are all contributing factors.

Excess waste disposal and unorganized waste management largely takes place in poorer economic zones, deprived of education and sanitation. It is very important to adopt a holistic approach to waste management.

Modern Day waste materials are hazardous to mankind and can cause various diseases including cancers. Toxic waste materials can contaminate surface water, groundwater, soil and air which cause problems for humans, other species, and ecosystems.

Waste treatment and disposal produces significant green-house gas (GHG) emissions, notably methane, which is contributing significantly to global warming. I am sure that we will continue to introduce clean technologies and build awareness about the impact of our practices on the environment. This will lead to sustainable development, and aid in achieving millennium development goals. Two areas which I would like to highlight are Municipal waste and growing impact of e-wastes.

‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s ambitious project to make India a clean country. It brought about a much-needed change in the way we approach waste management.

As you are aware India is the fastest growing economy. However, with growth come potential dangers of production of more waste. There is thus need for effective waste management.

We need to effectively follow 3 R’s for waste control ---   Reduce, Recycle & Reuse.Along with 3Rs we need to take focus on resource efficiency for promoting sustainability.

As regards waste management, various technologies are evolving to protect us from stinking gases to producing energy from waste.

Every citizen must fulfil his/her responsibility towards protecting environment. In sum total, we should gravitate towards a “zero waste “policy.

Talking about Municipal waste

India needs to increase landfill area, even as it looks to overhauling its municipal solid waste management system. India generates about 62 million tonnes of municipal trash every year.

Ten million tonnes of garbage is generated in just six metropolitan cities--Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata. The landfills of these cities are already overflowing with no space to accommodate fresh waste.

According to an expert at the Centre of Science and Environment, instead of constructing new landfill sites, we should be looking into innovative methods to dispose and recycle its waste. I am happy that the Government has taken lead in establishing waste to energy projects on priority.

I strongly feel that segregation of waste should occur at the colony or neighbourhood level, when the waste is collected.

Environmental hazards of emissions of gases are also a concern and these need to be tackled appropriately. Nearly 20% of methane gas emissions in India are caused by landfills.

High levels of nickel, zinc, arsenic, lead, chromium and other metals in the solid waste at landfills in metro cities can contaminate ground water and create health hazards.            I strongly feel that as a country we should process everything and dump only the residue in the landfill.

Rapid changes in technology and obsolescence have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Technical solutions are available, but in most cases a legal framework, a collection, logistics, and other services need to be implemented before a technical solution can be applied. I am happy to note that the Government has put an e-waste policy in place.

An estimated 50 million tons of e-waste are produced each year. The USA discards 30 million computers each year and 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe each year. It is estimated that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators.

GLOBAL TRADE ISSUES

I feel that the developing countries have become toxic dump yards of e-waste and we should guard against that.

Lot of people argue that lower environmental and labour standards, cheap labour, and the relatively high value of recovered raw materials leads to a transfer of pollution-generating activities, such as smelting of copper wire to developing countries like China, Malaysia, India, Kenya, and various African countries, Electronic waste is being sent to these countries for processing. Many surplus laptops are routed to developing nations as “dumping grounds for e-waste”.

We need to protect against these. It is pertinent to remove the rich-poor divide in cleanliness as the country is poised to become ODF by 2nd October 2019.

I am happy that Dr. Bhargava has covered not only the technical uses but also highlighted the social issues related to cleanliness and waste management.    He has managed to cover a wide gamut of issues related to hazardous, toxic, bio-medical waste as well as cleaning of rivers in his publication.

The books have a special importance and cover a host of topics. I wish the publications and the author a great success in his endeavour.

JAI HIND!

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AKT/BK/RK