New Delhi : Mr Parameswaran Iyer, CEO, NITI Aayog today said that solid and liquid waste management continues to be an important agenda for the government, particularly in the urban area. “It will be important to work with all stakeholders in the urban area including the private sector. We, at NITI Aayog, are working to take this forward in partnership with all stakeholders,” he added.
Addressing the day-2 of the 6th edition of ISC-FICCI Sanitation Awards and India Sanitation Conclave’ Mr Iyer stated, “Behavioral change is at the heart of all the programs including Swachh Bharat Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission, Conserve Water, etc. towards sanitation and managing solid and liquid waste management. We also have set up a Behavior Insights Unit in the Aayog which focuses on behavioral change and tries to mainstream into all government programs,” he added.
He also stated that various state governments are playing an important role in solid and liquid waste management including Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, etc. “This is an agenda which needs to be promoted very aggressively and we, at NITI Aayog, are working with the state governments along with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to take the agenda of wastewater treatment forward,” added Mr Iyer.
“Increasingly there is a realization that we need to have more and more decentralized options in municipal wastewater management. We have big wastewater treatment plants, high technology and energy intensive sequential batch reactors, etc. but now we have to look at a more decentralized model and they both need to go together,” he added.
Mr Iyer also urged the India Sanitation Coalition to collaborate with NITI Aayog and state governments as part of NITI Aayog’s outreach to states. We have started the State Support Mission where we are focusing on providing technical assistance to state governments to evaluate the demands of the state as they are working towards attaining an inclusive high growth trajectory. “There is a huge trend towards urbanization, and it is going to be the key. By 2047, more than 50 per cent of the country will be living in urban areas. If we don’t have basic services in urban and peri-urban areas, then it is going to be a big challenge. Taking solid and liquid waste management forward, both the state governments and urban local bodies will play a critical role in this,” he added.
Speaking on the role of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in waste management, Mr Iyer stated that many states have taken the SHG movement in a very big way. “There is a clear role for SHGs in multiple development areas including sanitation and solid and liquid waste management,” he added.
Ms Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti said that there is a massive effort in the country to identify single pit toilets across the country which needs improvement, and the state and administration are playing a leading role in this. “We must extract biogas and bio manure from organic waste,” she added and urged the citizens to use organic waste appropriately.
Plastic waste management, she added, is an integral part of SBMG Phase-2 and we are encouraging panchayats to spread awareness in order to ensure that the available plastic must really be put in the value chain. “Today, segregation at source is also getting addressed in rural India,” said Ms Mahajan.
Speaking on the Light House Initiative (LHI), Ms Mahajan said that we want to ensure segregation at the household level. We urge corporates to bring cost-effective, and innovative technologies for making LHI scalable and replicable, she emphasized.
Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair India Sanitation Coalition and Ms Natasha Patel, CEO India Sanitation Coalition were also present at the event.