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Petha, the delicacy from the Taj Mahal city of Agra, traces its history back to
almost 4 centuries, when it served as an instant source of energy to thousands of
workers involved in the making of the great monument, Taj Mahal. Prepared by
boiling and processing Ash Gourd (the vegetable petha), this sweet is the
livelihood of thousands of workers in Agra. About 1500 cottage units produce
700-800 tones of Petha daily, while consuming 225 tons of coal or firewood
every day. The organic solid waste and the emissions from coal combustion
have been implicated in environmental problems in the Agra city and the
adjoining stretch of river Yamuna. Although the use of coal was banned by the
Supreme Court in 1996, it had not been implemented till very recently. Agra has
also been declared as a part of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). Petha industry in
TTZ has recently been ordered to either switch to gas-based technology or move
their units, with the new proposed site being Petha Nagri in Kalindi Puram from
the existing Noori Darwaza area. A USAID-CIT project has shown potential
meth nation of the solid waste from petha industry and successfully
demonstrated the production of 25-30 m3 of biogas per ton of waste disposed.
Plans were also underfoot to construct a 35 tpd waste-to-energy plant, however
were never implemented. This work discusses the potential solutions to this
environmental social-economic-technical dilemma, while giving a brief

background of petha manufacturing process, legal guidelines & rulings and

environmental threat of process effluents.

The city of Agra derives its name from two world famous symbols: Taj Mahal
and Petha. No visit to this North Indian city is complete without either of them.
Agras petha is so famous that even though other varieties are available in most
of the Indian markets, the Agra variant is the most sought after. Petha, in
essence, is processed and sweetened form of the vegetable Ash Gourd or
white pumpkin, more commonly known as petha. Today, almost 1500
cottage industries in Agra city (mostly concentrated in Noori Darwaza area)
produce almost 700-800 tones.

The exact origins of petha are not known, although its history has been linked to
the Mughal Empire. During the time of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, around 16th
century, Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire. It is believed that Queen
NurJahan, tasted the petha at the petha market (which was later named Noori
Darwaza in her honor and serves as the current location of petha market) and,
enamored by this delicacy, decided to take it to the royal kitchen. It is also said
that petha served as an instant energy food source to thousands of workers
involved in the making of the 17th century Taj Mahal. The first form of petha is
believed to be Gulabi (or rose) and is suspected to be over a thousand year
old. The patronage of Queen NurJahan led to the crystalline and translucent

form of petha that is considered by many to be the original form these days.
Over last few centuries, esp. in the last couple of decades, several varieties and
flavors of petha have been developed, including pan, chocolate, kesar, angoori,
mango, coconut, etc., to make a few.
The vegetable petha or ash gourd is highly enriched with calcium, minerals &
carbohydrates. All Petha products are highly recommended for growing
children, lactating mother, during jaundice due to richness in glucose and
minerals. It helps in nourishing the brain and enhancing nervous system. The
Petha preparation does not involve the use of fat cooking oils, so it has
negligible fat content and is free from cholesterol. Wholesome and nutritive, it
is known to act like a blood coagulant and is used in treatment of peptic ulcers
and obesity. The delicious sweet preparations made from it are used for the
treatment of tuberculosis, weakness of the heart and anemia. Although high in
sugar content, this nourishing sweet has a multitude of nutritional and medical
benefits and is a cheap source of instant energy for people, while also protecting
them from high summer temperatures due to its cooling properties.


Petha manufacturing is a cottage industry and almost 1500 such units are
involved in its production in the city of Agra, with a daily estimated capacity of
700-800 tones of petha sweet. The various steps involved in the traditional
manufacturing of petha are illustrated in figures 1 and 2. The two main raw

materials used for processing of petha fruit are the raw fruit and sugar.
Interestingly, the petha fruit is not native to Agra and is supplied from various
parts of Uttar Pradesh (Etah, Etawah, Aligarh, Meerut, etc.), Maharashtra,
Madhya Pradesh, Bangalore, Pune, etc. The other raw material, sugar, is
generally supplied from Daurala and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh and from
Maharashtra. Since the petha sweet is perishable, it is dried and packed in
boxes. However, due to its increasing demand in other countries, manufacturers
have started the canning of petha sweet without drying it, thus making the
export to far away regions possible
Petha Fruit (Ash gourd)
Cutting into pieces (round, cube, etc.)
Removal of seeds
Cutting into smaller pieces
Pieces are pierced with nail like spikes (to allow the sugar syrup enter the
pierced holes)
Immersion in lime water for 2 hours
Washing with fresh water
Boiling in water with potash alum (phitkari)
Immersion in boiling sugar syrup for 1 hr
Drying in tray


Packing in boxes

In spite of the immense popularity and historical significance of this sweet,
petha is also a prominent threat to the environment of the Agra city and cities
downstream from it. And this potent threat affects all three: water, air and land.
4.1 Land Pollution through solid waste Petha industry generates a significant
amount of solid waste, which is organic in nature. This solid waste chiefly
consists of the fruit peel and the seed. Only about 40% of the petha fruit is used
in the preparation of this sweet, leaving the Petha Fruit (Ash gourd) Washing
Sorting Cutting into pieces (round, cube, etc.) Removal of seeds Cutting into
smaller pieces are pierced with nail like spikes (to allow the sugar syrup enter
the pierced holes) Immersion in lime water for 2 hours Washing with fresh
water Boiling in water with potash alum (phitkari) Immersion in boiling sugar
syrup for 1 hr Drying in tray Packing in boxes rest 60% as solid waste to be
disposed off by the city. Most of this waste finds its way to open dumps and
after putrefaction, leads to foul smell, unpleasant sight and serves as a source of
4.2 Water Pollution through discharge of processing water It is estimated that
each of these 1500 cottage units use about 50kg of limestone daily ,which is
discharged to the drains. This chemical is used to make lime water which helps
in tightening of the petha fruit. Discharge of lime water to the drains leads to

sewer clogging. Apart from the lime water, other sources of wastewater from
petha industry include water used in washing, sugar syrup, water containing
alum, etc. This process wastewater is high in biochemical oxygen demand
(BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) and has low dissolved oxygen
(DO) levels.
4.3 Air pollution through use of coal the main source of air pollution from
petha industry is the use of about 225 tons of coal or firewood everyday .This
leads to generation of various gases which coupled with morning fog causes
smog-like conditions. The solid leftover wastes such as fly ash and particulate
matter are another nuisance.
In 1996, the Supreme Court of India banned the use of coal and had directed
concerned authorities to ensure minimum pollution and shifting of coal-based
industries (including Petha) to the city outskirts. However, no steps were taken
by the administration for its implementation. In 1999, Taj Trapezium Zone
(TTZ) Authority was announced covering an area of 10, 400 km2 to protect Taj
Mahal. In 2002, the Government ordered the petha industry to either switch to a
cleaner fuel such as LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or CNG (Compressed
natural gas) to reduce the pollution due to coal [6]. This order failed to have any
effect on the petha industry and the same traditional practice continued. In 2003,
the industries within the TTZ were ordered to either switch to gas-based
technology or move their units. The state government also developed a Petha
nagri in Kalindi Puram and the land was allotted to the manufacturers.

However, neither the manufacturers stopped using coal nor they shifted to the
new Petha Nagri. In 2013, after a lot of pressure, the Agra Administration and
the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) banned the entry of coal
trucks into city and very recently have sealed units still using coal. The petha
manufacturers are now forced either switch to low pollution preparation or shift
to a new location. So a after a span of almost 18 years, the ruling of the
Supreme Court is finally being implemented leading to either a change in
traditional petha preparation or displacement from the existing locality. This has
also lead to the migration of many petha workers to other states. However, the
local petha manufacturers claim that the taste of Agra petha could not be
duplicated as the Yamuna water played an important role in imparting this
particular taste to the sweet and efforts to replicate this taste had failed
elsewhere due to a difference in the water source. An interesting point to note is
the lack of any governmental regulations regarding the disposal of solid waste
or process wastewater.


MSW Collection System in Agra City
MSW Collection conducted in two stages. In first stage, the waste collected

From door to door is transported to dustbins and open dumps. In this stage,
Collection is not very efficient even though large numbers of private sweepers
arranged in waste collection from door to door at a nominal charge. Most
residents drop the waste outside their residence, which in-turn is swept away by
street sweeping and lifted by means of handcart, rickshaw trolley by Nagar
Nigamworkers to the nearby opens dumps.
In second stage waste filled DP Container is replaced with empty DP container
By Dumper placer vehicle. The waste is transported to the designated dumpsite.
Waste from open dumps is collected in trucks/tipper trucks/tractor manually or
By JCBsand Loaders and finally transported to the designated dumpsite. The
Mode of transportation of waste from secondary dumpsites is decided on the
Basis of waste quantity as well as access road.
Primary Collection Systems
The primary collection of waste refers to house to house collection of waste in
the community bins either by the resident themselves or by the sanitary
workers. There is no organized arrangement for house to house collection of
waste in almost whole city except for some part of the city. Community bins are
also not available at convenient locations for depositing the waste.
Private Sweepers collect waste from households in handcarts and transport it to
nearby open dump/ Dustbins. Nagar Nigam workers (safaikaramcharis) collect
waste that is thrown outside the residences while sweeping the streets.
Secondary Waste Collection System

The MSW collected from each of the primary collection points is transported to
designated open dump areas and DP containers (mostly on the main roads),
which are the secondary collection points identified in Agra. Most of the waste
is transported in rickshaw trolley and handcarts to the secondary collection
points. The waste from the secondary collection points situated at congested
places is lifted manually using pans and faders tipper trolleys. In other cases
JCB/ loaders are used to load the tipper truck/trolley, which in turn are used to
transport this waste. In addition, the JCB loaders are used to lift the construction
and demolition waste.
Recyclable Wastes
The recyclable wastes are segregated manually by kabadiwalas and rag-pickers.
The kabadiwalas purchase recyclable waste from residential and commercial
establishments while rag-pickers collect recyclables from marketplaces,
dustbins, and dumping sites, and sort them before selling off. Majority of such
groups are located at RavidasNagar, North Idgah, Police line, Idgah (also on the
back of IdgahNallah), Kathghar,Mohanpura, Chipitola behind puranimandi,
Rakabganj near police station etc.

Bio-degradable Wastes
The bio-degradable waste is not segregated either at the primary collection
points, secondary collection points, or dumping sites. Most of the bio-

degradable waste was found to be eaten by animals at the grazing on the open
dumping sites.
Non-biodegradable Wastes
Street sweepings and drain silt is a major constituent of the non-biodegradable
wastes. This type of waste is disposed off at the dumping sites along with other
wastes without any prior processing.
Setting up of processing facility (Composting Plant)
The processing plant will have a composting facility and the selected private
developer will have the freedom to set-up a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Plant
from his own resources. In other words, the grant component will be available
only for composting plant. The selected developer has to construct a compost
plant and operate and maintain it till the end of term of the concession period.
Closure of the Existing Dumpsite
At present there is no sanitary landfill site in Agra. One site at Kuberpur is
under development for sanitary landfill by Agra Jal Nigam on an area of 75
acres under supervision of Agra Nagar Nigam. The disposal is carried out
following the method of crude dumping where the waste is neither spread nor
covered. In some areas the garbage waste is recklessly burnt in open dump
yards placed on the main highway road. The present dumping site is at Shahdara
on Agra- Firozabad road that is now exhausted and now the vehicles are
dumping the waste along the road margins. The site has been abandoned as its
capacity is exhausted and also posing a threat to environment and ground water

pollution. Therefore it is decided to close these existing dumpsites by leveling,

shifting, compacting, grading and closing them as per MSWM rules, 2000.
The above activity of closure of exiting dumpsites would be implemented
through private developer, as per the plan and details prepared under the DPR.
The developer will also be responsible for maintaining the closure cover
(minor repairs of cracks developed by settlement of MSW and erosion due to
rains etc) during the entire term of the concession period.
Setting up of Disposal Facility (Sanitary Landfill)
The Non-biodegradable waste transported from the transfer stations and the
inert materials such as street sweepings and rejects from the compost plant shall
be collected separately and thereafter disposed in a Sanitary landfill. The
treatment and disposal facility will have green cover with suitable plantation.
The proposed Sanitary Landfill is to be designed for 20 years
All required measures for preventing pollution would be ensured both at the
treatment and disposal facilities.
The scope of the selected developer would be construction of the SLF, disposal
of inert/ non-biodegradable waste into SLF and Operation and maintenance of
the facility till the end of their life period. The developer is also responsible for
the post-closure monitoring of the SLF for a period of 15 years, as per MSW
Rules, 2000.


In Agra there is no legal landfill site for the dumping of the solid waste
collected. There is a landfill site on Tundla road, which is used by the people
and the nagar nigam for land filling. But the condition of the site is so worse
that it not only harming the people nearby living there but also it is nowadays
affecting the other people and also it affects the ground water under the site.
The disposal of garbage in the world is a problem that continues to grow with
the development of industrialized nations and the growth of population. Since
the beginning of time people have needed to find a way of disposing of their
trash. Since then we have come a long way and have developed types of waste
that cannot simply be dumped into a hole.
There are many different methods of disposing of waste. Landfill is the most
common and probably accounts for more than 90 percent of the nation's
municipal refuse even though Landfills have been proven contaminates of

drinking water in certain areas. It is the most cost affective method of disposal,
with collection and transportation accounting for 75 percent of the total cost.
The government and the nagar nigam, which deals according to the condition
and requirement of the Agra city, propose a landfill site. This is KUBERPUR
Kuberpur Landfill Site:The project is to be executed by a Mumbai-based firm Hanjer Biotech Energies.
Firm representative said his company had adopted the latest techniques and was
successful in running similar projects in Mumbai and Gujarat.
The project envisages setting up a compost plant of 350 tones daily capacity for
converting biodegradable waste into humus like organic fertilizer/soil enriched
for use in agriculture.
Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000
The Ministry of Environment and Forest notified Municipal Solid Waste
(Management and Handling) Rules 2000 after widely circulating the draft rules
in 1999 inviting objections and suggestions if any and made it mandatory for all
municipal authorities in the country, irrespective of their size and population, to
implement the rules. To improve the systems the following seven directives are

Prohibit littering on the streets by ensuring storage of waste at source in

two bins; one for biodegradable waste and another for recyclable material.

Primary collection of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste from

the doorstep, (including slums and squatter areas) at pre-informed timings on a

day-to-day basis using containerized tricycle/handcarts/pick up vans.

Street sweeping covering all the residential and commercial areas on all

the days of the year irrespective of Sundays and public holidays.

Abolition of open waste storage depots and provision of covered

containers or closed body waste storage depots.

Transportation of waste in covered vehicles on a day-to-day basis.

Treatment of biodegradable waste using composting or waste to energy

technologies meeting the standards lay down.

Minimize the waste going to the landfill and dispose of only rejects from

the treatment plants and inert material at the landfills as per the standards laid
down in the rules.
Reasons for Non-Compliance
As per municipalities compliance in waste collection is constrained by:

Lack of public awareness, motivation, education;

Lack of wide publicity through electronic and print media;

Lack of finances to create awareness;

Resistance to change;

Difficulty educating slum dwellers;

Lack of sufficient knowledge on benefits of segregation;

Non cooperation from households, trade and commerce;

Unwillingness on part of citizens to spend on separate bin for recyclables;

Lack of litter bins in the city;

Non availability of primary collection vehicles and equipment;

Lack of powers to levy spot fines;

Lack of financial resources for procurement of tools and modern vehicles.

In creating treatment and disposal facilities, the constraints outlined were:

Paucity of financial resources as well as lack of support from state


Non-availability of appropriate land;

Prohibitive time and cost considerations in land acquisition and

implementation of treatment and landfill technologies;

Lack of technical knowhow and skilled manpower for treatment and

disposal of waste;

Low quality of municipal solid waste;

Delay in clearance of disposal sites.

Status of Present Disposal & Proposed Landfill Site

The existing SWM system for Agra does not have an engineering landfill site
for disposal of waste. The waste collected from secondary collection points is
dumped in an unorganized manner at the dumpsite. The authorized dumpsite is
located atShadhara on Agra- Tundla Bypass Road.
Behind this site KalindiVihar area is situated and on the other side
JharnaNallah.It is at a distance of 4-5 kms.fromWorkshop at Transport

Nagar.The present situation of the landfill site is over dumped to a height of

approx. 8 ft.from Road level. The total area of the Dumping site is 4.475 acres.
The way to the dumping site is badly damaged, due to which the vehicle of
Nagar Nigam for waste disposal transport waste less than there capacity. During
the discussion with NNA, it was also brought out that situation become worst in
rainy season as the way becomes too much slippery due to which there exists
risk of frequent accident. The Agra Nagar Nigam has 22 acres
Of land at kuberpur teshil, Etmadpur, which has been proposed for the
development of Integrated Sanitary Landfill Facility? However, additional
adjoining land is under process of acquisition by Agra Development Authority
to take care of the requirement of an integrated solid waste complex for the next
25 years.


To find out the total generation of the solid waste in Agra city due to

petha industry.

To determine the method of the disposal of the solid waste in Agra city.

To determine the anthropogenic sources of the solid waste at the selected

sites in Agra city.

To determine the drawbacks of solid waste management in agra.
To determine the method to improve solid waste management in agra.

To determine the alternative techniques of disposal of solid waste.


The study survey in the industrial area of the Agra city.

The primary data collection including: -

Generation of the solid waste due to petha industry in the Agra city.

Source of the solid waste.

Quantity of the waste generated due to petha industry in the Agra city.

Health Status of the city.

About the disposal methodology of the waste.

Agra is a city of world heritage, the worlds one of the best monuments is in
Agra. So the there is a lot of tourism too in Agra. There is a plenty of literature
available on the tourism of the Agra city the literature on whether it actually
produced any significant economic development for the masses is limited. The
review of the current literature is organized by first looking at potential and
impact of tourism related to the Economic, environmental and social issues.
(Source from Agra tourism department)

The recovery of items from waste represents an important survival strategy for
poor populations throughout the developing world. In many areas that lack

municipal collection of wastes informal collectors operate a privately and in an

unorganized manner.
Open dumping of Solid waste is usually practiced in Agra because of paucity of
adequately designed sanitary Landfill. This creates unhygienic conditions in
various cities. There is a need to build Sanitary Landfill and to stress on waste
minimization so that load on landfill site minimized. Waste minimization can be
achieved by two pathways, which are recycling and sources segregation. At
present segregation of MSW is practiced at informal sector. However,
segregation and subsequent recycling activities are not often carried out in an
environmental-friendly manner with safety and health aspects in mind. There is
also need to upgrade the socio-economic status waste declaimers. (Source
Journal of IAEM vol. 35 feb2008)
Municipal Solid waste contributes significantly to the total waste generation in
our society. The activity of MSW management involves manpower, financial
resources and machineries. Performance of the management system depends on
how effectively, scientifically, and environment-friendly manner, the resources
are utilized. There is a need to focus on developing environmental-friendly and
sustainable MSW management system in various cities and towns. (Source Agra
Nagar Nigam and Hanjer Biotech Pvt. Ltd.)


Land is an important component of the life support system; unfortunately land

has been overused and even abused over the city. Our land use statics are
confusing because there is no project planning. We use authentic figures agreed
upon by using inventory survey method.

Site selection

Site selection is one of the most important parts of society.

Site to be served should include residential, agricultural, forest and

residential area. All the sites include the entire above requirement required in
the area, which is to be served.
Visit of given sites

We have collected data of land use and the solid waste pattern in Agra

city at the selected sites

containing mainly industrial area. For the purpose,

selected sites are Rambagh, Bhagwan Talkies, Taj-Mahal, Red-Fort and sanjay
palace, etc.

We have done survey to evaluate the land coming under industrial area of

Rambagh, and area under Taj Ganj and other factories localities.

Mainly there are industries, which manufacture iron foundries, petha,

rubber, shoes, and leather factories.

We have done a survey about the total generation of the solid waste in

coming from those factories.

The quality, types, and the total quantity of the waste produced by such

industries and the factories in the Agra region.

Methods of the disposal of the wastes generated and amount of the waste

recycled and reuse by the same factories.

Counting all the factories and industries in the Agra region. We have done

survey of approximately 10% of the total industries for the waste generation and


We have divided Agra city in different Zones as per our convenience, namely:




Noori Darwaza

Total solid waste in agra city is about 1500 MT/day but the collection at present
is only about 550 MT/day is possible. We have taken the observations from the
abve sites and figure those out in our project. The average generation of the
waste is 450 gm/day/capita.
NOTE: - We have taken most of the datas in approximation due to the
unavailability of the actual data from various sources and organization.

Survey of petha manufacturer in agra

1 what is the production capacity of your unit
a) 50-150 kg/day
b) 150-300 kg/day
c) 300-500kg/day
Quantity produced kg/day
150-300 kg/day
300-500 kg/day

% no of unit

percentage of quantity of petha produced in a unit


150-300 kg/day

300-500 kg/day




2 Type of fuel used in manufacturing petha ?

A wood
B coal
C gas

Type of fuel

% of unit








3 Do you know about rules of disposing solid waste ?

A yes
B no








4 How do you disposed the solid waste generated by the unit

A open dumps
B recycled
C dustbins
open dumps
Recycled to generate power


disposal of solid waste

open dumps

Recycled to generate power





The MSW collection in Agra city is not well organized due to lack of awareness
among the citizens as well as civic bodies responsible for collection of waste.
The solid waste management system in the city is grossly inadequate.
Primary collection of solid waste is not appropriate NNA does not provide doorto-door MSW collection service to its residents. The major portion of residents
of Agra city pays private operators to collect their daily waste in handcarts and
Disposed off to nearby secondary collection point. However, others throw the
household waste outside their residences from where sweepers of NNA collect

waste by means of rickshaw trolley and dump the same into the dustbins or onto
streets (open dump). In most of the cases, generators themselves dispose of
waste in nearby waste collection points/containers, onto the streets, or in
The nearby drains. The safaikaramcharisemployed by the NNA do street
sweeping, collect drain silt and waste heaps from roadsides and dispose them
off at a nearby open dumps.
These unorganized disposal methods have resulted in accumulation of solid
waste on roadsides and vacant plots and in low lying areas and storm water
Secondary storage of solid waste is unorganized
The team observed that at places wherever dustbins are available, either they are
rusted or damaged. At other places, waste is dumped on open dumps which
have evolved over time. In the absence of secondary storage facility for MSW, it
is dumped at any location in the vicinity drains, vacant plots, street corners,
low-lying areas, and other open areas. Heaps and stretches of un-segregated
waste in open areas is an eyesore, thereby causing environmentally hazardous &
unhygienic conditions across the city, thus, creating conditions for breeding of
mosquitoes, grazing by cattle.
Solid waste is transported in open vehicles
Most of the times, solid waste is transported in open trucks and trolleys. The
Project team observed that these vehicles are overloaded with waste, resulting in
road littering during transportation. The loading and unloading of waste is done

manually and safai karamcharis involved in this activity do not use any Personal
Protection Equipment (PPE) for their protection.
Slaughter house waste is mixed with the MSW
Waste from slaughter houses is dumped along with the MSW in open and
nearby agricultural land. As such, there is no provision for segregation and safe
disposal in Agra city.
Biomedical waste is not managed properly in all health care facilities Most of
the private hospitals/nursing homes in Agra are segregating their waste and the
biomedical waste. They have contracted with a UPPCB approved contractor
M/s Dutta Enterprises of Agra for collection and disposal of BMW. However,
few organizations does not strictly follow segregation of BMW and needs to be
penalized by the competent authority.
Disposal of solid waste is not appropriate
The solid waste collected from various sources is disposed off in open dump
sites indiscriminately without segregation or preprocessing. There is no
engineered sanitary landfill site for safe disposal of solid waste.
Manual handling of solid waste
Safai Karamcharis involved in primary collection of MSW do not use any
Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) such as face masks, disposable gloves,
boots, hats, and proper safety clothing (sturdy colored uniform) to avoid direct
contact with waste and reduce the likelihood of on-the job injury. Manual
handling of solid waste during primary collection is an acceptable practice in

Agra city.
Lack of awareness among city residents and civic authorities
The NNA staff is responsible for managing MSW in Agra city in accordance
with the MSW Rules 2000. However, they are completely ignorant of these
rules and the implementation practices recommended in the document.
Therefore, a planned and concerted effort is required to bring about awareness
among the public mind make them realize their responsibilities as individuals
and as a community. In summary, public awareness, community participation,
transparent administration, accountability at all levels is the need of hour so as
to ensure success of any MSW management plan.
Environment, Health and Safety Aspects
Improper Solid Waste Management gives rise to problems of health, sanitation
and environmental degradation. Several diseases are spread due to waste
mismanagement. Rodents and vector insects transmit various diseases like
dysentery, cholera, plague, typhoid, infective hepatitis and others. The workers
engaged in SWM services are exposed to high health risks and frequently suffer
from respiratory track infections and also gastro-intestinal problems.
The rag pickers who move from street to street, bin to bin and go to dump yards
to retrieve recyclable waste are most vulnerable to diseases on account of their
direct contact with contaminated waste. They too are found to suffer from
intestinal and respiratory infections, skin disorders and eye infection. They also

suffer from injuries at open dumps, which can cause tetanus and serum
Community bins not available at convenient locations
Street sweeping operations are inefficient
Several temporary storage points are not cleared on a day-to-day basis
Community involvement is absent.
No disposal site in the city, the waste is also dumped along the river bank
burning of garbage leads to air pollution.
In the present scenario waste management and handling process is unplanned
due to lack of proper infrastructure, awareness among the public and its
involvement. No target oriented awareness programmers conducted in the past
for solid waste management improvement or for waste segregation.
Total 6: Administration involved in sustainable Solid Waste Management
Thus for making proper, reduced, segregated waste collection, there is a great
need of public awareness and their involvement. Along with this, the Municipal
Solid waste collection, handling and processing staff should be trained. For this
purpose need of Information, Education &Communication (IEC) Plan and
Training & Capacity Building of staff have been noticed.

The major objectives of the IEC and Capacity Building are as follows:
bringing of attitudinal and behavioral changes among the residence about the
segregation of waste and sanitation improvement.
Public awareness through informing and educating the masses on various
aspects of solid waste management and achieve the target of receiving
segregated waste from each household.
Creating Public Participation in Planning and Management of MSW
Capacity Building of the personnel's involved in implementing MSW i.e.
Institutional Capacity of Health Department of FNPP for Improved MSW
Integration and involvement of private sweepers and Rag Pickers in
improving MSW management
Public Participation and Awareness through IEC programmes
The basic approach of IEC plan is to create effectiveness of the Solid Waste
Management System. The success of any solid waste management scheme can
be measured through the extent of cooperation and participation of people,
effectiveness of the proposed system and operational efficiency.
Approach of IEC Plan
Attitudinal and behavioral changes of the residents are important for the success
of the segregated waste collection and its sustainability. For this purpose,

communication with the residents is required through various techniques and

modes. There needs to be a two-way approach for IEC

a. Program communication (to bring about behavioral changes) Behavioral
changes are must to achieve the objective of receiving segregated waste from
each household. For this purpose, the strategy should be to build and
community awareness and education through adopting awareness initiatives
among the citizens.
B. Social Mobilization (for alliance building) It is universal that presence of
local stakeholder or group in an issue can provide a very effective mechanism
for community outreach and associated information and education activity.
Hence support of NGOs, Local Leaders, RWAs, and Educational Institutions
etc. are indispensable for social mobilization.
Strategy for Creating Awareness
Selection of key target audience plays a key role in generating effective
awareness and cities like Agra need more careful planning for this purpose.
Some of the target audience can be from sectors of particular interest including
the female head of the family, children and youth, who require some form of
role model to influence their behavior. Broadly, the target audience can be
Categorized as waste generators, waste collectors and waste managers.

Once the target groups have been identified, the responsibility lies in developing
the approach for educating these groups. For successful implementation of any
program involving public at large, it is essential to spell out clearly and make
them know the manner in which the problem is proposed to be tackled to keep
area clean and improve the quality of life.
The communication material should be developed and must be utilized in public
awareness program through the tools of publicity. The use of various publicity
tools will be made as under:
Focus Group Discussions
Inter personal communications
creating watchdog committees comprising of local influential people, RWA
members and important stakeholders, societies
Printed materials and Audio-visual aids
Other locally popular media
Other tools like Newspapers, Media/Radio, Skit/Street plays, Billboards/
print Medium may be used for creating awareness
Training and Capacity Building
The basic approach of training & Capacity Building of managing staff is to
create effectiveness of the Solid Waste Management System and its operational
efficiency of sanitary staff.
The Capacity Building/training programs must aim at:

To sensitize the key stakeholders with working knowledge of the benefits of

waste reduction, segregation and management.
To Impart skills about the respective roles from generator to waste managers
for achieving these objectives, a core group of trainers needs to be organized for
continuous in-house training of the manpower to be deployed and other
sanitation staff. For the success of this program it is essential that training and
orientation be planned for all the people involved in various activities of solid
waste management at different levels viz.
Administrative and Officials, Technical and non-technical staff etc.Along with
these, private sanitary staff and rag-pickers should also be motivated for their
active role in waste collection process. The skill up-gradation programmes may
be conceptualized and implemented will result to the followings.
Determine roles and responsibilities of each official in specific terms.
Establish better coordination amongst the staff and departments to carry out
different functions related to MSW management
Enhance the knowledge base on problems and issues concerning to solid
waste Management for each area and pockets.
Develop effective O&M of facilities such as Tri-cycles, Dustbins and Waste
containers with the help of public.
Develop an effective monitoring mechanism with the proper involvement of
officials Responsible
Specific activities in regard to training/Capacity Building Programmes

I. Training Need Assessment

ii. Training made for specific Target Groups
iii. Conducting orientation program and need based site visits
iv. Training made for specific Target Groups
v. Evaluation of Training and orientation programmes
Vi. Gap Analysis
vii. Reinforcement programmes to fulfill the gap
viii. Setting of appropriate Institutional framework for sustainability
Clean Technology Initiative (CTI) Project - a program of U S Agency for
International Development (USAID) was launched in May 2003 for the Taz
Trapezium Zone (TTZ) to assist the industries and urban sectors to minimize
pollution which affects the great monument Taj Mahal. CTI offers technical and
financial assistance to identified polluting industrial sectors to adopt clean,
climate friendly technologies and certifiable environmental management
systems (ISO 14001). CTI aims to promote demonstration projects with
improved technical and environmental performance and helped industries facing
closure due to changeover of fuel source from highly polluting coal to clean
natural gas at the instruction of the Honble Supreme Court of India. In an effort
to help the city of Agra with integrated solid waste management (including

waste collection, segregation and disposal), CTI installed a waste-to-energy

demonstration plant. Installed in partnership with a private company, Mailhem
Engineering, this demonstration plant disposes off the organic solid waste
obtained from Petha industry and generates biogas. The CTI-Mailhem
Engineering biomethanation plant uses the petha waste as the raw material and
converts it to biogas. The plant has successfully demonstrated a generation of
25-30 m3 biogas per ton of petha waste processed. This product gas is
successfully used in the preparation of petha and namkeen. Additionally, the
residue of this plant is an excellent organic fertilizer. Based on this successful
waste-to-energy demonstration, plans were initiated to construct a 35 ton/day
biomethanation plant to sustainably dispose of the petha waste generated by
about 200 units located within the heart of the city. These units are difficult to
remove due to social, economic and political compulsions. The proposed site for
the project was the Sabji Mandi Sikandra area. However, this
Shifted to some other location or by using gas-based manufacturing, it is
claimed that petha will not taste the same. The industry provides year-round
employment to thousands of people and hence its relocation or closure will lead
to migration of this work-force. In addition, legislative issues still ensue. As
mentioned earlier, it took almost 18 years after the ruling of the Supreme Court
for the authorities to seal coal consuming petha industries. Interestingly, the
original ruling and the subsequent actions/legislations are only useful for
prevention of air pollution due to coal (and also some solid waste issues due to

fly ash). However, these do not account for the solid waste generated from this
industry, which has already mentioned is composed of almost 60% of the fruit
used. And no legislation is in place to prevent the disposal of lime water and
other process wastewater to the river Yamuna. On top of it all, the technical
solutions have not yet been implemented due to various factors including (but
not limited to) the need for further research, funds and awareness. In
conclusion, a concerted effort from all the stakeholders, including the
manufacturers, government and the people is needed to come up with a
sustainable plan for efficient management of this dilemma.
At present, the role of the private sector in municipal service delivery is
negligible. A small stretch of street light maintenance on the MG Road has been
contracted out and has not been running successfully. Similarly, a limited area
around the Taj Mahal has been given out for private sweepers for cleaning.
However, even this has not been properly managed and is not a successful
The city of Agra being a major domestic as well as international tourist
destination, there is a great scope for improvement with the involvement of the
private sector in provision and maintenance of almost all the civic
infrastructural services .The purpose of PPP in MSWM in Agra is to impart
more efficiency and cost effective services which may not be effectively
provided by the existing infrastructure/manpower of the municipality .The

private sector can participate in the functions of (Nagar Nigam Agra) NNA as

The existing dump site in Agra city at Shadharachungi that is receiving waste
from all around the city for a long period of time. The dump site has its
commercial value as it could be used for other development alternatives. The
waste dumped in the past has its biodegradable fraction which will degrade over
time. The closure plan of this dump site is to be planned by Nagar Nigam Agra
after having detailed study of the site pertaining to ground water contamination,
Surface runoff, degradation of waste, production of gas etc. The site could be
developed on public private partnership (PPP) basis with some private operator.
The yield and sale value from the development of the commercial and
residential property by this land shall be sufficient for the closure cost of the
dump site. Therefore the closure cost of the dump site is not being included in
the cost estimates and should be considered on PPP model for its development.
SWM as per the MSW (M&H) Rules 2000 is essentially a public responsibility.
Therefore, the services rendered by NNA have to be efficient, economic and
reliable to comply with Honorable Supreme Court directives in this regard. The
need for improvement in waste management by NNA in terms of efficiency and
its effectiveness. The deficiency in the existing system is due to lack of
infrastructure, appropriate technology, restrictive bureaucracy, lack of

accountability, higher administrative and salary expenses. These are not

commensurate with desired level of productivity. Public awareness and
community participation needs to be encouraged. The present unsatisfactory
state of sanitation and cleanliness in Agra reflects the above mentioned
anomalies. Private sector involvement through private public participation more
often than not results in the win-win situations for all stakeholders both in the
short and long term. Private sector investors being accountable for the services
rendered will help make the operations more reliable and efficient Short term
advantage Sustained efficient operations will bring investment/ finances
For such projects which will further improve operational efficiency.

Agra city approximately generates 2000-2500 tons of Solid Waste per day. The
entire solid waste disposal is not easy task. Therefore, there should be a mixed
effort of The Public and the Private. Nagar Nigam Agra should invite tenders to
finalize the private operator in each of the specified areas. The tenders should be
evaluated on the basis of private operators who have past experience in the
field, his financial strength, willingness to deploy funds upfront, technical
evaluation of the proposal and the tipping fee payable to/by the NNA. A planned
and concerted effort is required to bring about awareness among the public and
make them realize their responsibilities as individuals and as a community. In
summary, public awareness, community participation, transparent
administration, accountability at all levels is the need of hour so as to ensure

success of any MSW management plan .The solid waste management systems
in the city would be set up on a public private partnership model. Fifty per cent
of the cost will be borne by the Centre, 30 per cent by the municipal corporation
and 20 per cent by the state government.
The most important thing for success of PPP is that people would continue to
pay if the system delivers in its performance. The prime reason for failure of
PPP has been loud promises and assurances but unsatisfactory performance.
NNA should see this as a very important strategy for fund raising and improving
its user charges and ensure that people expectations are met by making the PPP
arrangement strong and effective.