Tier-1 cities are no more only about uninterrupted internet connections, public toilets, or bicycle tracks. They are more about improved quality of air, lesser congestion on roads, clean drinking water, and proper solid waste management system. People living in cities like Delhi, struggle with quite a lot especially from the problems created due to improper waste management plan and process.
Currently, Delhi has 3 landfill sites, Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla, of which the Ghazipur landfill has earned itself the distinction of dwarfing Taj Mahal. The city suffers not just because of inadequate planning and execution but also fails at a much larger scale when its residents show pure negligence on their part. What is the next step to such a bad state of waste management in Delhi and over-saturated landfill sites?
The simple answer to this is clearer, smarter, and wiser policies that don’t face carelessness and that are also equipped with solutions to probable reasons for failure. If we look into the following policies that the Indian government has launched and tried to implement across the country, we’d see that there are n number of ideas and mandates, but there are zero number of supervising and enforcing bodies. The launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in 2014 followed by Smart City Mission in 2015 with Make in India and many more such policies are a clear indication that India has the capabilities that no other nation has, and can attract viable resources to make the country a smart thriving nation.
If we see, there are no practices that exist on their own but are entangled with one another, especially in the cities that are densely populated and are urban, like Delhi. We have always tried to find the answers looking in one direction but the time is that we try to discover other ways that may have meaningful outcomes. Instead of trying to provide alternatives to technocratic, financialized, and centralized versions of Indian government, we need to start rethinking upon the idea of ‘smart’, that it might require one to appreciate the whole plethora of urban initiatives and engagements like Go Green Initiatives by different non-profit organizations, ventures like Clean India, and more.
We need a city that can thrive upon its own, that understands the troubles of the marginalized and offers support, that has well-articulated and well-drafted agendas and strategies and offers solutions instead of chaos, and that shares the burden of development instead of bombarding its people with more troubles adding to their continuous misery. The ever-changing dynamics of the city may not be able to follow the practices but they sure can try and outline a methodology that may best suit the very situation.
To reduce pollution the state government needs to take strict implementable actions at every level, from policing big moving vehicles to vacuuming minute dust particles in the air, to odd-even policy, and much more. To support the initiative, companies like Clean India Venture Pvt. Ltd., a waste management company in Delhi, have invested a huge amount of money, time, technology and effort in researching and developing a machine, GoClean, that can help reduce the problem of wastage at the site. A country that produces 0.8 kg of solid waste per person every single day; where people are dismissive of their responsibilities is a country that will face consequences. But to avoid such a situation Clean India Ventures is trying to spread awareness about the technology that they have patented, that has the capacity to treat over 1000 kg of mixed organic waste in a day and convert the same into organic manure. The machine is designed to treat not just household waste but also horticulture waste, temple waste, agro-mandi waste, and mixed organic waste.
In the end, we can conclude that a city can only become smart when the people and the processes change with the advancement in technology. Wireless communication or digital surveillance will not only make Delhi smart and clean but also the implementation of the policies and its acceptance by people and organization.