Belagavi (Karnataka): The Karnataka government has admitted that the quantum of plastic carry bags had not reduced despite the ban, a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General said on Monday. This was stated in the performance audit report of the CAG on ‘Solid Waste Management in Urban Local Bodies’, which was tabled in the assembly. The Urban Local Bodies were yet to initiate action for disposal of seized plastic materiel, a release quoting for the report said.
Plastic waste, though found feasible for use in laying roads, was not used for the purpose, it said, adding that this not only resulted in mismanagement of plastic waste, but also in environmental degradation and death of cattle.
The performance audit was conducted to ascertain whether the management of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and special waste, including construction and demolition waste, was effective, efficient and carried out economically and scientifically.
The audit for the period 2012-13 to 2016-17 involved examination of the records relating to solid waste management(SWM) in the directorate of Municipal Administration, District Urban Development Cells, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and its regional offices and 35 urban local bodies.
The results showed that the assessment of waste was not realistic and the state policy prepared in 2004 was not fully operational and not revised in accordance with SWM Rules, 2016, it said. The release said non-revision of the state policy was bound to adversely affect effective planning in all ULBs.
The report, while noting that under the Swachh Bharat Mission, ULBs prepared Detailed Project Report for SWM, these DPRs were deficient as they failed to adhere to prescribed methodology of estimating waste generation and lacked complete and significant data required for waste assessment. It also said none of the test-checked ULBs assessed the requirement of capital and revenue funds for SWM activities until the preparation of DPRs and hence they were unaware of the resources deficit.
It further said though DPRs prepared in 2016-17 assessed the resource deficit, these failed to address measures for bridging the deficit, indicating the lack of financial commitment to this crucial activity. Pointing out that ULBs did not utilise the funds provided for creation of capital assets by central and state finance commission, the release said that in comparison, funds allocated for revenue expenditure were utilised in full by ULBs.
The expenditure on SWM was not commensurate with the funds available, resulting in unspent balance of Rs. 93.19crore at the end of March 2017. On collection of e-waste, the report said the checked ULBs did not collect and channelize e-waste to authorised dismantlers or recyclers and it was found mixed with Municipal solid waste (MSW). Failure of ULBs in taking steps to put in place the requisite mechanism resulted in deficient or improper management of e-waste, it added.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.