Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has urged the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to effectively manage solid waste by creating a dedicated group of officers and skilled municipal staff, through adequate training, hands on experience and new technologies. Stating that the Government of India’s efforts towards transforming waste to wealth is also reflected in the Waste to Wealth Mission project which has been approved under the recently constituted Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council(PM-STIAC), Shri Puri stated that the objective of the Mission is to identify, develop and deploy existing and new technologies to treat waste to generate energy, recycle materials and extract resources of value so as to create a clean and green environment. He was speaking at World Habitat Day 2019 celebration here today. Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, Shri Shiv Das Meena, Additional Secretary, MoHUA, Shri Ravi Kant, CMD, HUDCO, senior Ministry officials, School Children and Teachers were also present at the function.The Mission will assist and augment the Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart City projects by leveraging science, technology and innovation to create circular economic models that are financially viable for waste management to streamline waste management in the country, he added. The minister also said that his ministry was already progressing in the direction of affordable housing in conformity with basic standards of environmental protection.The event also saw release of publications like the Journal ‘Shelter’ of HUDCO and special issue of NCHF on World Habitat Day. Winners of Painting competition organized in Schools by HUDCO, BMTPC and NHB were felicitated.
Earlier the Minister complimented the UN-Habitat for choosing ‘Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool for transforming Waste to Wealth’ as the theme of this year’s World Habitat Day, thereby calling attention to the issue of waste, wishing to change the discourse into a positive one, where waste is presented as an opportunity to bring about wealth and change in the communities and cities where we live. This year’s theme also assumes much more significance in the light of focus of every nation to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Habitat III ‘New Urban Agenda’ (NUA) which put special emphasis on sustainable waste management. Goal 11 of SDGs which talks about ‘making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, targets that “by 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management”. He reaffirmed that India was committed to achieving the SDGs before time. Frontier technologies—from DNA sequencing to 3D-printing, from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, from biofuel technologies to digital & nanotechnologies, from machine learning to artificial intelligence—present immense potential for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in general and transforming waste to wealth in particular. Speaking at the event, Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, MoH&UA said the people’s movement against Single Use Plastic has picked up, as people are now more conscious towards protecting the Environment and securing the habitat for the future generations.