The Thane Municipal Corporation has undertaken a host of initiatives across various sectors to improve the quality of life of residents.
Solid waste management (SWM)
Solid waste generation in the TMC area is around 650 MT per day. In addition to cleaning, waste collection, segregation, transport and disposal, TMC’s interventions in waste management include e-waste disposal; vermi-composting projects; preparation of an artificial lake during Ganapati Festival; a bio-methanisation plant with technical support from BARC, biomedical waste disposal with the support of NGO Enviro Vigil; plastic recycling and composting project with the help of NGOs Apoorva Mahila Sanghatna and Stree Mukti Sanghatna; and a proposed incineration plant (waste to energy) on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. What’s more, TMC will give 5 per cent discount in property tax to societies that reduce solid waste up to 50 per cent by recycling/reusing.
TMC’s water treatment plant is at Temghar. In 2011-12, water supply was 460 lakh MLD with water quality in the distribution system at 95 per cent, conforming to WHO standards. TMC has actively worked to augment water supply through automation, which reduces water distribution losses. To achieve 24/ 7 water supply within the municipal area, automatic water meters, water auditing, use of automatic SCADA facility and improvement in water distribution are being implemented. A 110 MLD water supply project was also commissioned in August 2009.
Total sewage generation in the city is 300 MLD. But the existing network covers only 15 per cent geographical area and 17 per cent of the population by way of underground sewerage network and thus only 54 MLD sewage is treated in the present treatment plant. TMC has provided about 10,000 public toilet units, including the pay-and-use Sulabh model and conventional units. A low-cost sanitation system is also being implemented in slums. TMC has set up a 120 MLD STP at Kopari based on ‘C-Tech process’ that provides the highest treatment efficiency possible in a single-step biological process.
Projects include lake conservation; continuous ambient air monitoring with assistance from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board; e-waste disposal; vermi-composting projects; and stringent implementation of pollution control guidelines. TMC has established a number of monitoring centres for environmental protection. Further, water is conserved through compulsory rainwater harvesting and the use of bore-well water for gardening and flushing.
The Ministry of Energy selected Thane to be developed as a ‘Solar City’. Accordingly, it is mandatory for all new buildings and existing public buildings to install a solar water heating system. Existing residential buildings get a rebate of 10 per cent on property tax on installation of a solar water heating system. TMC aims to integrate RE and EE measures for energy security and reduce GHG emissions. A target of 10 per cent reduction in the city’s energy consumption has been set. Also, a master plan has been prepared and a solar city cell is being established.
Indeed, energy efficiency is a priority for TMC. Initiatives include a pilot project of GSM-based street light management system that saves up to 30 per cent energy and energy-efficient lighting and fans in municipal buildings.
TMC uses modern technology and networking in surveillance and governance, including its own comprehensive website. Complaints received through email are addressed by the Commissioner through newspapers. A Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) has been set up to achieve transparency and accountability. Further, TMC has installed 6 LED boards on an experimental basis to display information on its projects and public service messages.
Over the years, TMC has won accolades aplenty, including the HUDCO’s Clean City Award (1999-2000); zonal awards under the Sant Gadge Baba Swachata Abhiyan; and energy conservation awards from the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency and HUDCO.