Speaking at the Cement Manufacturers Association’s coveted conference on alternative fuel and raw materials (AFR) CONSERVE 2019, Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shankar Mishra, thanked the cement industry for supporting the Swacchata hi Sewa mission in October 2019 in its second phase by helping dispose of plastic waste in the cement plants within a 200 km radius.
He assured that subsequent to this initiative the Government was willing to discuss with the cement industry on how to best manage the process of plastic and waste disposal.
The conference saw members of Cement Industry along with other stakeholders including senior government officials and technocrats come together to discuss the role of cement industry in contributing to India’s energy efficiencies. The event was largely seen as platform to cultivate a collaborative action plan for India’s journey towards sustainable goal banking on Cement Industry’s track record on adopting and creating sustainable benchmark.
Following a very stimulating and insightful day one, the second day of the conference started with the session on Waste Management to AFR: fast and last mile prerequisites. Some of the critical points to come up during the discussion pertained to segregation, supply, quality, consistency and logistics of wastes in India.
V K Jindal, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs pointed out the importance of waste segregation, without which none of the waste management goals are possible. He put forth the ever increasing and successful initiatives of the Government., the takeaway of which had been that over the last 5 years, the Government had managed to segregate up to 57% of the waste that had been collected. This in itself was a big achievement on account of the rising awareness and sense of responsibility, which has been imbibed amongst the societal stakeholders. He also mentioned some of the successful examples of waste segregation and management in the cities of Indore and Vellore.
S Sivasubramanian, Municipal Commissioner of Vellore City Municipal Corporation, emphasized the importance of household waste segregation and the need for community engagement. He further illustrated the success of the Vellore model citing how the Vellore city has become dustbin free.
Deepak Khetrapal, MD & CEO, Orient Cement Limited, said that the quality and consistency of the waste available to cement industries is very important for effective of waste disposal. Standardization would help industry benchmark and calibrate their production parameters. The panelists also voiced the need for updated standardized norms, enabling them to use raw materials like fly ash and slag in larger quantities to create cement with lesser carbon footprint.
This session was followed by the much anticipated panel on Game Changers where some of the disruptive innovation for waste utilization and disposal came up. Director and Co-Founder of TrashCon, Saurabh Jain showcased his enterprising solution to waste segregation by introducing the TrashBot setup. He was confident that his set up could actually help cement industry process wastes more efficiently and access Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) with higher calorific value.
Mahendra Singhi reemphasized the fact that resource conservation and waste utilization were not only a responsible thing to do but the profitable way forward for the cement industry. He signed off stating that a cement may look grey in colour but his industry has ensured that it is green from inside and felt they will achieve many more such milestones and benchmarks in the years to come. Concurring with his views, the Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, complimented the Cement Manufacturers Association for being the binding agent for green initiatives and future sustainability goals. Ms Aparna Dutt Sharma, Secretary General, Cement Manufacturers Association closed the conference by thanking the participants and cement industry for coming out in full force and reiterating the commitment of cement industry towards sustainable green goals.