Now, haphazard dumping of construction, demolition waste to invite huge penalties

Govt frames policy under Central Act after nearly 4 yrs
*ULBs asked to notify locations

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 22: Now, haphazard dumping of construction and demolition waste will cost dearly as Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has framed a policy albeit nearly four years after the enactment of Act in this regard by the Union Government and prescribed huge penalties to check the illegal disposal of such waste.
With rapid urbanization in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the fastest growing industries is construction and it is expected to continue growing exponentially with the increase in urban population.
The increase in the number of buildings, expansion of urban infrastructure such as roads, bridges and flyovers and demolition of old buildings has also resulted in immense amount of waste being generated in the form of debris, building materials etc.
To deal with the issue of rising construction and demolition waste generation in India, challenge of such waste recycling and sustainable use of natural resources, the Government of India issued the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules in March 2016, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
These Rules apply to every waste resulting from construction, remodelling, repair and demolition of any civil structure of individual or organization or Governmental authority that generates construction and demolition waste.
It is pertinent to mention here that the activities that mainly generate construction and demolition waste are—construction of new buildings; renovation of existing buildings; demolition of old buildings; excavation/ laying of concrete roads; installation and service of public utilities (telephone, water, electricity and sewage pipelines) and construction/renovation of public infrastructure like bridges and flyovers.
“At present, majority of the waste is dumped in landfills or is illegally disposed off in water bodies and rivers in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also common to see such a waste littered on pavements and in open plots as such is often mixed with municipal solid waste making the municipal waste heavy and unsuitable for further processing such as composting, recycling and energy recovery”, sources said.
Rule 9(1) of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 provides that the Secretary of the development in the State Government or Union Territory is required to prepare the policy document with respect to management of construction and demolition waste.
However, this aspect received due attention in Jammu and Kashmir after a long gap of nearly four years with Principal Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development Department Dheeraj Gupta issuing policy and strategy on management of construction and demolition waste.
“This policy is aimed at relevant authorities, functionaries of Urban Local Bodies and other stakeholders to prepare the plan and procedures for management of construction and demolition waste within their jurisdiction”, sources said,
The objectives of the Jammu and Kashmir Construction and Demolition Waste Management Policy are to ensure that no such waste is dumped in open spaces by 2022; to ensure segregation of waste at source level; to ensure establishment of waste recycling facility within six months; to ensure procurement of by-products of recycling (10 to 20%) in municipal/ Government contracts subject to strict quality control and standards prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards and to ensure that adequate preventive measures be taken by bulk waste generators to avoid any dust emissions out of the waste handling at the construction site during storage and unloading as mandated under Central Pollution Control Board Guidelines, 2017 and to ensure at least 50% of the waste generated is reused and recycled by 2022.
With the framing of policy and strategy, the Government of J&K UT will focus on 5R principle (Refuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse, Recovery and Recycle) for the management of construction and demolition waste, sources said, adding reuse of waste in rural roads to be promoted by issuing an advisory on the use of the products made out of the recycled waste by the Public Works Department.
Moreover, collection points will be identified by the Urban Local Bodies in their respective jurisdictions and use of recycled materials will be incentivized. The ULBs would also notify locations in each zone in such a manner that non-bulk generators with small quantity of waste is not required to transport the debris to a distance more than 2.5 to 3 kilometres. Even properly covered vehicles will be used for transportation of waste and overloading of such vehicles will be avoided to check dust pollution.
Though the ULBs have been asked to frame by-laws for management of construction and demolition waste and define penalties to serve as a deterrent against non-compliance yet Housing and Urban Development Department has recommended fines in the policy.
For dumping of construction and demolition waste in storm water drains, open spaces and other non-designated areas, the H&UDD has prescribed penalty of Rs 8000 per ton for bulk-waste generator, Rs 4000 per ton for small waste generator and Rs 6000 per ton for transporter of such waste.
Same penalties have been prescribed for mixing of construction and demolition waste with any other waste stream. For failure to start construction, demolition or renovation works without submission and approval of waste management plan, Rs 50,000 penalty has been prescribed for bulk waste generator.
Even penalties have been prescribed for deviations or non-compliance of the conditions of the waste management plan.