Buffer Zone Requirement Has Been Raised To Curb Down The Harmful Effects Of Land Filling
Post on 15,July 2017   6:00 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued draft guidelines proposing to maintain buffer zones around landfills to minimize/prevent the impact of landfill waste disposal. Close to 62 million tons of solid waste is generated every year in the country. Out of this, 43 million tons is collected and only 12 million tons treated.

The proposed guidelines will apply to all future treatment plants while the existing plants will have to incorporate measures such as planting trees and using odor free technology

CPCB: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organization, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

  • CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal.
  • Functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • To promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution.
  • To improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.

Present conditions: The current practice of solid waste management in India includes a host of options such as composting, vermin-composting, biogas, refuse derived fuel (RDF), palletization and waste- to- energy measures

Disposal of garbage in landfill sites is the least preferred but a widespread option in India. It encompasses waste disposal/processing facilities.

It affects the neighboring environment by fostering air, water, land and noise pollution.

What is Buffer Zone: Buffer Zone refers to an area of no construction. Such an area divides interior and exterior thereby separating two regions (for environmental protection).

  • The term buffer zone was first specified by the government in Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling Rules), 2000.
  • The revised rules as under Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016.

CPCB to issue guidelines regarding buffer zones: According to the SWM Rules, 2016, “a buffer zone of no development shall be maintained around solid waste processing and disposal facility, exceeding five tons per day of installed capacity."The only guideline for landfills as of now is that they be at least 500 meters ways from habitable zones.

Why this proposal is a good option: The proposed buffer zones will act as a barrier and will provide assistance against flawed handling of waste during storage and transportation and will also prevent the surrounding environment from negative impacts of the landfill. This overall will cater the goal of promoting responsible land management and conservation practices.

The other side of the coin: The CPCB has in its draft guidelines allowed waste- to energy power plants to come within 20-100 meters of residential areas which does not go well with 300-500 meters specified in the solid waste management manual of the Swacch Bharat Mission. As well draft guidelines mentions “incineration” as one of the methods of waste disposal which will impact the air in and around.

Concluding Remark: The proposed buffer zones will act as a barrier and will provide assistance against infeasible handling of waste during storage and transportation. It will also help protect the surrounding environment against negative impacts of the landfill and work in accordance with environment upgradation.

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