Indore to be first city to ban single use plastic: Asheesh Singh

Excerpts from the interview.

Neither Central nor state government has banned SUP as yet but the IMC passed a proposal to this effect. Why is it so?

We had thought of banning SUP about a year ago. We had even prepared the by-laws. We could have banned SUP a few days ago but then we got to know that the Central government could make such an announcement on Gandhi Jayanti.

We waited till Gandhi Jayanti but the Centre did not announce the ban on single use plastic, so we went ahead with our plan. I think that the ban on SUP will play a major role in our efforts to win the cleanest city tag for the record fourth time in-a-row.

Will the ban come into force immediately?

A formal approval has to be obtained from the state government on the by-laws of banning single use plastic. We have already taken the higher-ups into confidence for the approval.

Has any time-frame been given to the suppliers to clear out their existing stock of SUP?

A period of three months time has been given to them. After that, we will begin imposing fines on them.

What else is the city doing to retain the cleanest city tag?

Many efforts are being taken as per the parameters set by the Central government for Swachh Survekshan-2020. We are promoting the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) concept, increasing the number of zero waste producing colonies, making garbage a source of income, to name a few initiatives.

Making garbage a source of income? Please elaborate.

We have entered into a pact with a company which is setting up a state-of-the-art robotic machine at the trenching ground which will segregate 300 tonnes of solid waste daily and treat it.

We will give them 300 tonnes of garbage daily and they will give us Rs 1.4 cr annually. Similarly, we are going to sign a pact for converting 200 tonnes of wet waste into bio-compressed natural gas. In this way, a total of 500 tonnes of waste will be treated daily at the trenching ground.

How much garbage is generated in Indore daily? Have you taken any initiatives to reduce the garbage that the city produces?

Around 1,200 tonnes of garbage is generated daily. The quantity of garbage has not reduced due to the increase of population in the city but we managed to limit its increase.

You recently sat on the KBC hot seat. How was your experience?

It was great to sit on a seat across Amitabh Bachchan, the legendary actor. I enjoyed every bit of the show. For four long hours I was on the seat talking to the actor.

But the recording was edited for telecast. During talks, I told Amitabhji that everybody in Indore is aware of the steps taken by the IMC for Swachhta and are very proactive. I told him that if he would hold a special show on Swachhata and invite Indoreans for it, you will have many crorepatis.