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A Norwegian contribution to a Swachh Bharat

Urban waste is the inevitable consequence of living an urban lifestyle. As India moves on its path towards urbanization, the amount of urban waste grows even faster. Norway supports two waste management projects in India, and thus contributes to make India cleaner!

Although a large amount of money is spent on urban waste management worldwide, urban areas in most parts of the world are still grappling with the challenge of environmental degradation. Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on health, economy, and our local and global environment, and is also a big problem in India. As the country’s population and consumption is increasing, better waste management in India is a pressing issue.

Last week, Ambassador Kamsvåg addressed these issues in his opening of the conference “Environment-friendly Options for Handling and Recovery of Urban Wastes” in Delhi. Sharing his insights on waste management challenges, the Ambassador highlighted that if plastic waste is not managed properly, it ends up into the sea and eventually destroys the ocean ecosystems. This problem is especially crucial to address in coastal countries like Norway, and emerging industrial economies like India.

The Norwegian Government supports two waste management projects in India. One of these projects deals with burning industrial and hazardous waste in cement kilns, using a co-processing technique. This technique hits two birds with one stone: it takes care of the waste while also reducing the GHG emission by partly replacing fossil fuels in cement kilns.

The other Norwegian project in India is in the field of construction waste management, which is another growing challenge in the country. Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Special Director General, Mr. Balraj Chadha, acknowledged that their organization benefitted tremendously from its association with the Norwegian research organization SINTEF and welcomed further inputs.

The conference was organized by SINTEF, in collaboration with CPWD of the Government of India and the IL&FS Academy of Applied Development.