Isher Judge Ahluwalia

The writer is chairperson of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and former chairperson of the high-powered expert committee on urban infrastructure and services.

Articles By Isher Judge Ahluwalia

Challenge of managing solid waste in our cities requires community engagement

Vellore, with a population of five lakh, has been a trailblazer in decentralised management of solid waste and sending no waste to landfills. It has earned the remarkable distinction of getting its residents to separate wet waste from dry waste.

Cities at crossroads: Small town, cleaner future

Big cities should learn how to implement waste separation effectively from small, mid-sized Indian cities.

Waste-to-Energy plants that use solid waste as feedstock pose threat to environment

WtE plants in India burn mixed waste. The presence of chlorinated hydrocarbons like PVC results in the release of dioxins and furans when the waste is burnt at less than 850 degree C. Appropriate filtering mechanisms need to be installed to control such dangerous emissions.

The afterlife of e-goods

A rapidly growing e-waste crisis needs rapid official decision-making, time-bound responses.

The three bin solution

Hazardous, wet and dry domestic waste must be separated. The primary responsibility lies with consumers.

Recycle and build

A proactive effort from municipalities and citizens towards recycling of construction and demolition waste will go a long way in curbing pollution.

Building from debris

Construction and demolition waste is an environment and public health hazard. Its recycle and reuse offers a sustainable solution

Cities at crossroads: No more cover-ups

Municipal authorities are opting for capping as a solution to the problem of mixed waste at dumpsites. Bio-remediation and bio-mining may be more desirable.

Cities At Crossroads: Managing the run-off

An IIT Delhi report offers important pointers on how to ensure a smooth drainage system in the capital using its natural waterways.

Ripples of reform in Dhaka

Bangladesh capital’s transformation of the water services sector, that connects the urban poor to the piped network, has lessons for cities in India

Cities at Crossroads: Who pays to save this lake?

Bengaluru waterbody, Jakkur, restored by a citizen’s initiative, now stands to be deprived of water by a power plant, raising questions about making environmentally sound practices economically viable.

Cities at Crossroads: Bring back the lakes

Citizen action on rejuvenation of water bodies is gathering momentum in Bengaluru and is making a difference on the ground.

What urban waste has to do with global warming

Recycling, composting and biomethanation will not only make landfills unnecessary, they will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Segregation must begin at home

The middle and upper-income classes ought to recognise their critical role in the solid waste management chain and live up to it

Cities at Crossroads: Perils of plastics waste

A sustainable way forward is to minimise consumption of single use plastic items, create awareness about the use of appropriate grade of plastic, and emphasise the importance of recycling and reuse.

Cities at crossroads: Don’t waste the possibilities

Use of plastic to lay roads shows the way. Initiatives in states like Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are worth emulating.

From waste to health

Compost from biodegradable municipal solid waste will simultaneously clean up our cities and improve agricultural productivity and soil quality of our farms

Lakes of fire

The froth spewing from them in Bengaluru is a symptom of a pervasive urban problem — the discharge of untreated sewage into water bodies.

Back to waste basics

Don’t mix different types of waste. The correct way to manage it is to expose it to air

A city laid waste

A new rapid bioremediation process that can remove garbage hills and end their ill effects, promises a low-cost solution to waste management and disposal. It is very important that alternative technologies are carefully evaluated on their merit.

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