New Delhi: The government on Tuesday notified rules for managing construction and demolition waste, including barring people from dumping such waste on roadsides and mandatory recycling, a move aimed at reducing dust pollution that is linked to a spurt in respiratory diseases in big cities.

The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 notified by the environment ministry stipulates that permission for construction will be granted after a complete waste management plan is presented to local authorities.

“It’s an initiative to tackle effectively the issue of pollution. Without any rules, it is dumped in open spaces, drains, rivers, forest areas, landfills and roadside," environment minister Prakash Javadekar said.

“The basis of our new rules is recover, recycle and reuse. We can make tiles, pipes from it (construction waste)," he said. “Segregating construction and demolition waste and depositing it to the collection centres for processing will now be the responsibility of every waste generator."

The rules also make it mandatory for local authorities to utilize 10-20% of construction and demolition waste in municipal and government contracts to lay kerb stones, drain covers and paving blocks in pedestrian areas.

“Cities with a population of more than 1 million will commission processing and disposal facility within 18 months from the date of final notification of these rules, while cities with a population of 0.5-1 million and those with a population of less than 0.5 million will have to provide these facilities within two years and three years, respectively," Javadekar said.

Currently, 530 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste is generated annually. Construction activity in and around Delhi is one of the main reasons for high air pollution in the national capital.

“Permission for construction (for large builders) will be given only when the complete construction and demolition waste management plan is presented," added Javadekar.

According to the rules, largescale generators of waste (producing above 20 tonnes of waste per day, or 300 tonnes per project) will also have to pay relevant charges for collection, transportation, processing and disposal, as notified by the concerned authorities.

The draft rules were published three months ago and were finalized after suggestions were received from all stakeholders.

The new construction and demolition waste rules are part of the environment ministry’s plan to revamp the country’s waste management system. The ministry in the past few weeks has notified new rules for management of plastic, e-waste and biomedical waste.

Javadekar said all these rules will be reviewed after three months.

Environmental campaigners say whether the new rules will succeed in reducing pollution will depend on how well they are implemented.

“It is a good beginning and tomorrow, if they are not followed, one can always raise it as a legal issue. But the questions over implementation remains," said Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a non-governmental organization working for the rejuvenation of the river Yamuna.

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