US India Global Review 2018

40 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW APRIL-JUNE 2018 for Science and Environment in New Delhi. "Most of the Indian municipalities don't have enough manpower, vehicles, infrastructure and revenue to support the segre- gation." Like most nascent recycling systems, Mysuru's system depends partly on government support. The federal government last year began offering subsidies both to set up compost plants and to run them. "Hopefully, we will now be able to break-even," said Chandra Shekhara, assistant manager of the Mysuru compost plant. The unit is run by Mumbai-based Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services. Before the central gov- ernment grants, only about 70 percent of the costs of the plant were covered by the sale of fertil- izer. The incentives have helped boost the nation's production of compost from waste to 1.31 mil- lion tons in August from 0.15 mil- lion tons in March 2016. Investment in facilities to turn waste into compost or energy could reach $3 billion by 2027, according to estimates by industry body Assocham in a 2015 report. Private companies were reluc- tant to enter the waste-processing business because of the high ini- tial capital expenditure and the fact that profits depend on govern- ment support, said Amiya Kumar Sahu, founder and president of the Mumbai-based National Solid Waste Association of India. The companies need guaranteed sup- ply of waste from the municipality and many also lack the expertise and technology. Modi's government has also made it mandatory for the electric- ity board to buy power from the country's seven existing waste-to- energy plants. Another 56 such generating plants are under con- struction, though Mysuru is too small to make such a plant viable for the city with the current infra- structure. Public support in Mysuru has allowed the city to manage its garbage substantially. The city has a history of cleanliness. Its rulers not only built dazzling palaces, but set up an urban planning body in 1903, introduced public street lighting in 1908 and built an underground drainage system by 1910. But stronger measures will be needed to get more people to adhere to the recycling program. To take the move forward, the cor- poration is planning to refuse to take unsegregated waste from residents, will ask citizens to have their own solid waste manage- ment units, and is in the process of setting up more processing units, said Nagaraj. "Progress is very slow, but there are sparks of hope every- where," said Almitra Patel, who led litigation in 1996 in the Supreme Court against open dumping that led to the nation's first Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules in 2000. She cited Suryapet, Warangal, Kolar and Vengurla as other cities where officials managed waste with innovative methods and pub- lic cooperation. "Wherever the commissioner, mayor and local representatives work together for the cause, there is great suc- cess," she said. Bibhudatta Pradhan,Journalist | Bloomberg Visitors walks past a public trash can in the grounds of Mysore Palace in Mysuru, India, on Nov. 20, 2017. Photo: Samyukta Lakshmi/ Bloomberg