Surat’s Lesson To India
Modernity is a boon. It has ushered in a plethora of innovations and technology right inside our drawing rooms, sometimes even spoiling us to a great extent. Now, many people may have a question here – How does modernity spoil you? Isn’t modernity an inevitable choice in today’s time and age? Of course, it is. I would not be able to imagine living a single day of my life without the modern-day gadgets and appliances. They are dire necessities. But, what we forget sometimes is the fact that nothing should be taken for granted.
The fact that the environment is at the stake of being completely polluted thanks to our over usage of something as harmful as plastic describes pretty well the current scenario. While we cannot really stop using these, we can definitely try and help ourselves to certain good habits.
One such way to inculcate such a good habit is by giving up everything plastic – from using plastic bottles to using plastic bags for shopping. It is true that the government is slowly trying to curb the usage of plastic to some extent, but there are many individual communities or state governments that are deciphering innovating measures to help the environment sustain. One such genius endeavours have come from the Surat Municipal Commission, who have manufactured a unique underground garbage system – thereby keeping the city clean, hygienic and fresh.
India’s Diamond City Is Also The Fourth Cleanest City In India
Surat, popularly known as the diamond city of India, is one of the largest cities of Gujarat. Also known as the “Sun City of Gujarat”, over the years Surat emerged as one of the cleanest cities in India. The city reached newer peaks as it was recognized as the fourth cleanest city of India in 2017 by Swacch Survekshan.
So, what really went to make this city one of the cleanest in India? After all, being a fairly large city, it must have its share of garbage issues! Surprisingly, it is exactly where Surat played its masterstrokes. While the largest metropolitans of the country continue to grapple with waste management issues, Surat devised the unique underground waste management system to make their environment green and clean. Till now, the diamond city has installed 43 underground waste pits, thus controlling air and land pollution to a great extent.
The city, which is also renowned for its silk, generates approximately 2,100 tonnes of garbage on a daily basis. Of this amount, nearly 800 tonnes are processed and treated to be reused while the rest goes into the pit. The Surat Municipal Corporation has deployed 425 vehicles on 900 routes across the city for door-to-door collection of waste. To make the process all the more efficient, each of the vehicles is provided with Radio Frequency Identification (RDFI) tags along with GPS for prohibiting any leakage of waste and real-time tracking facilities.
According to the Commissioner of Surat Municipal Corporation M Thennarasan, who is also the Director and Chairman of the Surat Smart City project, a total number of 75 such pits are scheduled to be placed by the civic body.
Unique Features That Make The Underground Pits A Success
As one imagine from the description, this underground garbage system is one of its kind in India till date. But, have you ever wondered how does the system work? Here’s a knowhow of the same.
Built as a part of the Smart City project, Surat administration had built these garbage pits with a capacity of 1.5 tonnes of waste each. All the bins are featured with sensors, which alert the control room as soon as 70% of each pit is full. Most of these pits have two mouths and are built right on the footpaths for easy disposal of wastes. Garbage is dumped through one mouth while the other mouth serves as an opening for its collection. Cranes are used to lift these humongous bins – hence, one does not have to strain too much in garbage collection.
Talking about it with the Times of India, Thennarasan said, “After this (underground bins) started in a limited area, more and more municipal councillors are making similar demands. Once people have a good experience and see the result, they will push for better facilities. We will be expanding this to other areas as well.”
Surat Is Also Trying To Tackle The Issue Of Waste Water Efficiently
Not just solid waste but the city is trying all its might in tackling the issue of wastewater efficiently as well. Its wastewater management scheme is currently treating 57 million litres of sewage water on a daily basis and converting the same into 40 million litres of potable water. This water is generally supplied to the eminent Pandesara industrial estate, which is the abode to innumerable dyeing and printing mills.
In an interview to Times of India, Anand Vashi, Director, Enviro Control Associates, which runs the wastewater treatment plant under the public-private partnership model, said, “The municipal body has been supplying treated water to industry for the past four years. The treated water meets all parameters of high-quality drinking water.”
Surat’s efficient and modern technology enabled waste management skill undoubtedly comes at a time when the country is in the requirement of such technology much more than before. Bigger and more congested cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, where waste management is indeed troublesome, may benefit themselves to a great extent by taking a leaf from Surat’s endeavour. In this way, not only the waste products will be managed but it will also tackle the menace of littering on streets and overflowing wastes at designated corners of the roads to a great extent – of course, only if the other cities take a cue from Surat.