Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Same Wavelength ?



Hindustan Times ( 02 May 2017 ) carries following news report :





“ Recycle waste , save Rs 1,854 crore “


·         When you don’t recycle waste, you cost the state Rs1,854 crore a year.


·         The government spends Rs 905 crore a year just to collect waste from Mumbai homes and transport it to a dumping ground .


·         At the Transform Maharashtra conclave on Monday, students from the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) showed just how costly the city’s waste issue is, and suggested giving citizens incentives to start recycling their waste at the source.



·         The team of five students said incentives could include relaxation of property tax paid by households and restaurants, cheaper electricity bills and bio gas to households based on how much waste they segregate.



·         Another solution they proposed was a machine that will eat up plastic and glass bottles and cans and dispense cash in return — an idea CM Devendra Fadnavis appreciated.


·         These ‘Reverse Vending Machines’ will accept PET/glass/cans from users and return cash.


·         To integrate waste pickers, the participants suggested a monetary award for workers who segregate the most waste . The team highlighted that they found policies were based on wrong perceptions: “As opposed to perception, urban areas generate more waste than slums.”



Congratulations , TISS  students  !


I am glad that , at age of 84 , I was able to “ sync “ with you , in my following blog :


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Incentivize Housing Societies


·         Disposal of garbage ( wet and dry ), is a big problem for all Municipalities


·         In Mumbai , it is a daily 8,000 ton problem


·         Despite a large fleet of garbage collection trucks and thousands of municipal employees ( including employees of contractors ), streets remain littered and garbage dumps keep overflowing ( when not burning ! )


·         All kinds of solutions have been attempted in the past to solve this problem, without much success


·         This is because current perception of the garbage generating households ( and of the office bearers of the housing societies ), is :

Garbage collection / disposal is Municipality's responsibility “


·         This problem will persist till we succeed in changing this perception to :

      "  Garbage disposal is our responsibility "


·         This change of attitude can be brought about by " incentivizing " the members of the Housing Societies


Here is how :


·         The society where I live (Marol / Mumbai) has 200 Members ( flats )

·         Each member pays monthly Municipal Tax of ( approx ) , Rs 600

·         That translates to Rs 1.2 lakh per month ( Rs 14.4 lakh / year )

·         In 5 years , Society pays to Municipality, Rs 72 lakhs



Govt / Municipality to make it compulsory for each big society ( size to be decided ), to install on its premises :



·          Methane gas generating plant or Compost Fertilizer plant

o    (  to take care of wet / organic garbage )


·            Water recycling plant ( to filter and reuse water from shower / wash

o    basin / kitchen sink for toilet flushing purpose )


·            A Compacting Press for dry waste ( paper / bags / cartons etc )


Towards installation of such plants , Municipality to give a discount of 25 % to the Society in monthly taxes , for a period of 5 years


·         That is a rebate of Rs 150 / month / flat for 5 years

·         This would work out to a saving of Rs 18 lakh ( 25 % of Rs 72 lakh )



This amount should be sufficient for the Society to invest in these plants and for paying wages for persons needed to look after their operations




·         I believe such a positive incentive will motivate most of the Societies to undertake to install such facilities


·         As a negative incentive , Govt / Municipality should levy additional surcharge of 25 % on the monthly taxes ( ie raise to Rs 750 / month in our case ) to those societies which fail to implement this scheme within ONE YEAR of notification


·         It is high time citizens are involved and motivated ( through negative as well as positive incentives ) in keeping their cities clean and its environment pleasant





RELATED  READINGS  FOR  TISS  STUDENTS :



·         Garbage is Green Gold  (  10  Sept  2016  )

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·         Discourage  Plastics  :  Encourage  Greed  ( 21  March  2016  )

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·         Plastic  Skyscrapers  ?  (  15  March  2017  )

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·         Not so far fetched , after all  !  ( 02  Feb  2017  )


03  May  2017






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