“Mumbai’s population of two crore produces 500 gms of waste per capita, with such volumes of waste to be managed, catering to its management has proved to be a failure posing both challenges and opportunities. Waste management is being mismanaged by the informal sector and to put it in order requires the involvement of the formal sector. It is thriving opportunity for the MSME sector to explore waste management”, said Mr. U P S Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA in his opening remarks at the Regional Dialogue, Mumbai, third in the row of dialogues leading to the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS 2015). The DSDS has been organizing Regional Dialogues at various cities on topics such as climate change, waste management, etc. The topics identified for Regional Dialogue: Mumbai are waste management and sustainable transportation which are pertainent for the city’s overall economic development and growth. The Dialogue was jointly organized on 11th December 2014 by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai, All India Association of Industries, World Sustainable Development Forum, TERI, Agence Francaise of Development and United Nations Development Programme. Mumbai has made pioneering efforts in the arena of waste management making it stand out on the world map, however much remains to be done with growing urban areas, Mr. Madan added.

Mr. U P S Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, Mr. Abhay Mishra, CEO, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd, Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Vice President, Sustainability, CSR and Ethics, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Mr. Shri Prakash, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, Former Member (Traffic), Indian Railway Board & Former Secretary to Government of India, Mr. Rakesh Saksena, Former Chairman, Mumbai Railways Vikas Corporation Ltd.

While broadly outlining the issues facing waste management, Mr. G. S. Gill, Distinguished Advisor, TERI and Ex. MD and VC, CIDCO said that policy issues posed a major hindrance. Public policy was not clear, guidelines made in 2000 were not revised since then, due to new emerging technologies. India was blindly following the practices adopted by the west failing to realize that the waste produced in India was different from theirs. Rural areas produce far less waste as compared to the urban areas. While the waste in the west was more to do with plastics and was recyclable Indian waste is more organic. It is important to segregate waste prior to disposal. One has to use technology best suited to the waste being produced. Dump grounds were fast filling and the question which lingered is how would land need to be recycled. In an urban set up there is shortage of land, technology is expensive. The other challenge is how to make people to live near a dumping ground. Lastly, financing poses a major challenge. The question arises whether the waste management projects can be made viable through a PPP mode if other expensive forms of financing it are not feasible.

According to Mr. R B Gupte, Director, MSME Development Institute the waste management sector was a fast growing one. E-waste needed much focus. It is generated in every household with the increase of technological gadgets. So it is important to either reuse or dispose it. Although some amount of legislations has been passed in this area much still needs to be addressed. Issues that need to be addressed are hazardous chemicals that are released which need to be neutralized, skill mapping and development. There is a growing educated unemployed youth that can be engaged in this sector, which will also bring about income generation.

Mr. Suneel Pandey, Associate Director, Green Growth and Resource Efficiency, TERI spoke on the difference in treating waste here in India and abroad. The initiative in tacking the issue lies in decentralization. At the household level, there is a sense of apathy among people to segregate the waste. One needs to segregate prior to handing over waste. Value-addition is important while converting waste into usable and fuel efficient products. Treatment of waste poses a challenge. Skilled manpower is required, which could mean introduction of a curriculum in the education system.

Mr. Shantanu Roy, Senior Vice-President, Environmental Management Centre while elaborating on the initiatives taken so far said that they were sporadic and not on a sustained basis. Waste categorization was important based on the consumption levels. Urban local bodies need to take informed decisions on how to tackle waste management. India has six climatic zones which plays an important role on the waste being produced. Technology, structured approach, linkages between universities are some of possible solutions in addressing the issue. Also, waste was being generated from packaging of products. A possible way to address would be to either penalize or incentivize depending on who is the polluter and who is the controller. Procurement policy needs to be strategized. It was important to understand the quantum of waste, use suitable technology in managing it and propose a business case for it, Mr. Roy added.

Dr. Amiya Kumar Sahu, President & Founder, National Solid Waste Association of India addressed the basic issue of what comprises garbage and its value. Waste management is everybody’s responsibility. Awareness of waste, segregation of it needs to be followed by everyone. It is essential to keep one’s country clean to stay at par with developed countries. Creations of a Smart City is only possible if waste management is adhered to.

The second session deliberated on Sustainable and Smart Urban Transport for Mumbai – The Way Ahead.

Addressing the growing transportation needs of the city Mr. U P S Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said that the Government is working towards designing a transportation system that ensures sustainable and smart mobility. The MMRDA has proposed 450 kms of metro rail corridor besides 8.9 kms of mono rail corridor. The projects aspire to offer an efficient, convenient and environment friendly transportation system. A major network of these corridors in the next 8 to 10 years shall benefit the city.

Given the changing income levels of the citizens nearly 75% of the population relies on public transportation as against 80% population dependence earlier. Trains are a cheap, environment friendly and fast mode of transportation. The inhabitants of the city must be encouraged to use this mode of transportation by enabling better quality of services, Mr. Madan added.

Earlier, introducing the session on ‘Sustainable and Smart Urban Transport for Mumbai – The Way Ahead’ Mr. Shri Prakash, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, Former Member (Traffic), Indian Railway Board & Former Secretary to Government of India said the term sustainable transport describes modes of transport and systems of transport planning which allows access to developmental needs of individuals, companies and societies in a consistent manner. The system needs to be affordable, operate fairly and efficiently and offer choice of transportation mode. The system needs to limit emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them.

The public transportation system in Mumbai is heavily dependent on railways besides the bus provision and the much awaited metro and mono rail. However, the city needs to cater to the growing needs of the inhabitants by addressing issues such as congestion, safety concerns, discipline, etc.

Mr. Abhay Mishra, CEO, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd said that an efficient public transit system should save time, be financially economical and environment friendly. The much awaited Metro rail project intends to positively impact lives of the Mumbai citizens by meeting these criteria’s. However, the Government has to adopt a transit oriented planning by redesigning roads considering walking aspects, stricter parking norms, eliminating road side hawkers and unauthorized constructions. Lastly, the long term metro rail project needs to be supported with intermediate plans for expansion of suburban railways, buses, etc.

Mr. Rakesh Saksena, Former Chairman, Mumbai Railways Vikas Corporation Ltd said that the city with a population of 22 million poses mobility challenge. Over 53% of the population relies on the railways for modal transportation. It is densely occupied with nearly 7.6 million commuters daily. The city has to focus on continuous capacity creation to meet the demand-supply gap. A comprehensive roll out of metro rail, mono rail and suburban trains is required. For the same political and bureaucratic ownership of the projects and sustained Government funding is the need of the hour.

Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Vice President, Sustainability, CSR and Ethics, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Auto Farm Sector) said that sustainable mobility is the growing need of the city. It can be met with rapid capacity addition. In order to fund the same, CSR activities of the corporates must divert funds towards sustainable transportation.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice-Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center said that today’s meeting is a precursor to the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2015. The summit will be examining topical environment and sustainable development issues which are a major cause of concern in India and world over. The discussions and debates during the Regional Dialogue in Mumbai will identify the challenges in efficient waste management for the city and sustainable and smart urban transport for Mumbai.

Dr. Annapurna Vancheswaran, Director, Sustainable Development Outreach, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said Delhi Sustainable Development Summit over the years has become the foremost platform on sustainable development and we are truly delighted that the Summit each year sees the convergence of developed and developing countries; sharing and learning from their experiences to make the planet safer and more livable for all. The 15th edition of the Summit will be truly inclusive as it will have sub-national representation through the Regional Dialogues held in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.

TERI organized a Regional Dialogue titled, 'Sustainable Urban Transport and Solid Waste Management in Mumbai. The Dialogue was organized in the run up to TERI's annual flagship event, the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), which will be held in New Delhi from February 5 to 7. A series of Regional Dialogues were organized in the run-up to the Summit, which come in the wake of the new Government's two major announcements -- 100 Smart Cities for India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The first Dialogue was held in Bengaluru, which mapped smart city concepts and practices to reduce carbon footprint to ensure sustainable habitats, while the Chennai Dialogue deliberated on access to basic facilities, including clean drinking water and sanitation.

At the third and the last Dialogue in Mumbai, experts deliberated ways to tackle the ever- increasing traffic related problems in the city and also how the waste management can be streamlined.