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Government considering new standards on garbage segregation to complement Swachh Bharat mission

Government considering new standards on garbage segregation to complement Swachh Bharat mission

By Deepshikha Sikarwar, ET Bureau | 5 Nov, 2014

There is also a proposal to set up a dedicated group at the BIS to ensure that these standards are not just formulated, but also implemented effectively.ET SPECIAL:Save precious time tracking your investmentsNEW DELHI: India is considering new standards on garbage segregation to complement Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat mission.

"There are no norms for garbage disposal ... Such standards are required as they would ensure that effective systems are put in place for segregation and disposal of garbage," said a senior government official, privy to the deliberation on the matter.

The issue had figured in discussions at the first meeting of the high-level inter-ministerial group of consumer advocacy chaired by the consumer affairs secretary.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has already directed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to formulate quality assurance and process standards for potable water supplied through pipelines by municipal and government agencies, street food and garbage disposal, the official told ET.

There is also a proposal to set up a dedicated group at the BIS to ensure that these standards are not just formulated, but also implemented effectively.

India had put in place a solidwaste management policy in 2000 at the behest of the Supreme Court, but it was restricted to class-I cities. Municipal bodies have to carry out waste disposal as per these guidelines. Garbage disposal, however, remains an issue in many cities.

"A mandatory standard prescribing segregation and disposal of garbage is necessary if the country has to move towards the cleanliness as is envisaged under the (Swachh Bharat) mission," the official said. Rules are required for transport of drinking water and street food as well, he said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is already working on improving quality of street food on the lines of the successful Gujarat model. Countrywide standards are expected to provide a benchmark.

The group proposed to be set up under the BIS would work in close coordination with the food safety body, health ministry and the departments of rural development and Panchayati Raj. "The idea is to draw up a time-bound rollout plan for the formulation and enforcement of these standards," the official said.

Modi had unveiled the clean India drive on October 2.