NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant blamed municipalities for the abysmal state of waste management in the country. At a conference on circular economy and waste management organised by non-profits Chintan and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and University of Chicago-India in New Delhi, Kant said municipalities are simply not doing their jobs.

While other experts at the event didn’t second his views, Kant went on to say municipalities have entered the business of construction and others when their primary job was to ensure that areas in their jurisdictions were clean.

“Unless we don’t pin them down, we may not be able to see our premises clean,” he said while adding that municipalities have enough resources to not just ensure cleanliness but also segregate waste at source.  Kant also praised the Indore model of cleanliness and emphasized that it should be replicated by each and every municipality in the country.

However, Malati Gadgil, former CEO, SWaCH, Pune, said there were many ground-level reports that the waste is being incinerated in Indore. “This is highly unsustainable. The policymakers must give a serious second thought to making the Indore model scalable for the entire country.”

But what about India’s own solid waste management rules? Manbir Sodhi, professor, University of Rhode Island, told Down To Earth that India’s Extended Producer Responsibility rules remain very poorly implemented. “If tax department sleuths can know how much taxes these companies are paying, why can’t it be traced if these companies are implementing rules or not,” said Sodhi…