Management of hazardous waste inadequate, says minister

Monday, January 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Monday emphasised that an effective management of hazardous waste is necessary as the country generates over six million tonnes of it every year.

“We have to treat, store and dispose about three million tonnes of hazardous waste and we have capacity only for about one and half million tonnes so far,” the minister said.

“We have to increase the facility for treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste and ensure that these are done in environmentally sustainable manner,” Ramesh said after a closed-door interaction with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The minister also said that the country has 25 treatment plants and eight more are being added under public private partnership (PPP) programme.

“I’m prepared to increase government contribution to this facility in order to stimulate the PPP and to establish higher capacity in the treatment, storage of disposal of hazardous waste,” the minister added.

He also said that they discussed converting waste into energy.

“Delhi alone will have three waste-to-energy plants which will generate a lot of electricity from waste,” he said.

According to the minister, another issue was municipal solid waste management, which is becoming a very serious environmental challenge.

“The municipal solid waste management is becoming a very serious environmental challenge. The ministry of urban development and ministry of environment and forests have to accept this challenge in a much more bolder and aggressive manner,” he said.

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