The basic challenges of SWM are the inappropriate methods of waste collection, waste transportation, and waste disposal. According to the CPCB, lack of infrastructure, insufficient budget allotment to the municipal authorities, and improper waste collection or waste segregation systems are some of the major challenges for SWM. Additionally, most of the dumpsites are being operated without following any Solid Waste Management norms and end up receiving mixed waste that causes environmental and health-related hazards leading to open-fires. It has also been reported that even after notification of the revised solid waste management in India rules and initiatives by the government, most of the states have struggled in the proper implementation of the policies/strategies.
Solid Waste Management
IHR also embraces its own set of difficulties regarding the Solid Waste management practices owing to its challenging landscape and harsh environment. Due to poor connectivity and socio-economic conditions of the residents, the waste generated in the terrain areas never reaches the proper solid waste management in India facilities. As a result, waste generated is either dumped along the mountain slopes or burnt openly. The situation is worse during winters when heavy snowfall in the IHR cut-off many areas from the rest of the country. The temperature in the Himalayan region is typically cold and offers sub-zero temperature conditions at cold regions. These freezing conditions pose a technical challenge for efficient composting and sometimes may even lead to the failure of the composting process in the cold hilly regions. The improper treatment and disposal of solid waste lead to the emission of pollutants, including greenhouse gases; heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Ni, Sb, etc.); acid gases; polychlorinated biphenyls; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; and carcinogenic agents.
Apart from the region’s inherent limitations posing a challenge to solid waste management , the IHR is also a popular tourist destination in the country. The North-Western Himalayas, in particular regions, is a major religious pilgrimage. Modern tourism is also rampant in the region, and the number of visitors is increasing year by year. The tourists serve as a floating population and add to the waste generation of waste in the IHR.
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