A target fixed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for 13 Central and Delhi government departments and MCDs, of using 16 lakh metric tonnes of recycled products made out of construction and demolition (C&D) waste in their 2019-20 projects, was met by only 25%.
Among the departments and agencies were the Railway Board, which used no recycled waste at all from a target of 1,000 MT; the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which used 1,362 MT or 0.14% from a target of 10 lakh MT; and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which used 12 MT or 1.20% out of a target of 1,000 MT.
The details were compiled in an annual report prepared by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in July on the implementation of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016. The report stated: “Directions were issued under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act on January 14, 2020, to various government departments and agencies for expediting and maximising utilisation of C&D waste recycled materials… to meet the targets fixed by the Ministry.”
Out of a target of 16,07,000 MT set by the Ministry, 4.13 lakh MT recycled products were used.
From the 13 departments and agencies, the target was met only by two — North and East MCDs, which also significantly exceeded their targets of 25,000 MT by 193% and 52% — while the South MCD managed 94.65% of the 50,000 MT target.
A North MCD official said, “We issued directions for using recycled products in all our development works. In our 104 wards, junior engineers were also asked to use the material for repair work, such as fixing footpaths or roads.”
Among the worst performers were the Railway Board, NHAI, DMRC and NBCC. A DMRC spokesperson said, “In this period, most of the Phase-III construction works of the Delhi Metro project had been completed and Phase-IV work was in a very initial phase. As such, there was hardly any scope of using recycled products.”
An official from the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), which used 1,840 MT or 6.13% of recycled products out of a target of 30,000 MT, said they used all material that could be used in ongoing projects.
The official added that the uptake of these products would increase after work begins on their projects in Netaji Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and Nauroji Nagar.
Railway Ministry spokesperson D J Narain said, “While I am ascertaining the facts regarding recycling of 1,000 MT of construction waste, it may be noted that Railways is fully committed to contribute to the cause of environment protection which is not only holistic but sustainable as well.”
Officials overseeing NHAI’s operations in Delhi did not respond to queries by The Indian Express.
The DPCC report added that in the financial year 2019-20, total C&D waste intake at three processing plants in Delhi was 9.2 lakh MT, out of which 8.8 lakh MT was processed and all of it was used by government and private bodies.
“Over the last 10 years, it is the first time when C&D waste intake quantity, processed quantity and off-take are more or less the same,” the report stated.
However, Deepak Agarwal, senior vice-president of IL&FS Environment, which operates three C&D waste processing plants in Delhi, said the plants have about 11 lakh metric tonnes of unprocessed and semi-processed waste from previous years. The plants produce products including sand, construction aggregates, brick blocks and paver tiles.
“One of the challenges we face is that the GST on recycled bricks is 18%, whereas the tax on polluting red bricks is 5%.
If the Finance Ministry can do something about this, then there would be more uptake of products,” Agarwal said.
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