Growing Urban Waste in Himalayan Cities: Trends and Impact in Urban Local Bodies of Himachal Pradesh
Waste is political. Its absence and presence can redefine the way we analyze good governance practices. Urban India generates 65 million tons of municipal waste per year which is anticipated to grow approximately 165 million tons by 2050, (PIB, 2016). Such a huge amount of waste puts India’s growth story at peril. As the cities are expanding in urban India, the standoff against waste disposal is also aggravating. The overwhelming city population will further put more pressure on the way we deal with garbage, refused goods, and waste systems. The waste scale expanding in Himachal Pradesh might be expanding insignificantly low as compared to big states of Union of India. But this expansion perils the fragile Himalayan ecosystem and environment in the backdrop of increasing tourism activities. Therefore, we need to study waste management in the hill cities, which is increasing due urbanization, change in social and economic activities.
The existing studies on waste exhibit how they are only limited to big states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, focusing on a particular type, space, and waste (Harris-White 2019). The failure of running an inefficient waste management system in Delhi has been perceived as a ‘Public Bad’ (Wadhera, 2017). Mishra makes a point that in “a smaller city the situation is worse and the same thing holds for hill station”(Mishra, 2016). There is lack of literature on waste-policies and its effect and suitability for hill cities. This paper has attempted to study the gap between planning and implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 (SWMR) in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Himachal Pradesh. It has analyzed the urban waste governance initiatives taken by ULBs after implementation SWMR 2016 rules. The paper has done content analysis of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016; State Pollution Control Board Annual Reports and annual reports of ULBs in Himachal Pradesh. The paper has assessed the decentralized impact of rules and institutional capacity of ULBs involved in the process of waste and its management in Himachal Pradesh.