Progressive Solutions discussed in Annual RWA Conclave 2017
About 120 delegates from across a cross section of RWAs in Gurugram came together for an annual RWA conclave organised by Gurgaon First and Municipal Corporation, Gurugram. The Conclave talked about issues relating to RWA empowerment, progressive solutions that RWAs can undertake in the areas of solar, water and waste management.
The Conclave was organized as RWAs represent the “last mile governance”. RWAs role begins virtually where government role ends be it fixing local drains, security and street lights. It is therefore imperative that they be connected to the governance mechanism, feel empowered and have enough capacity and talent to steer their colonies or societies to becoming islands of excellence in security, infrastructure and sustainable initiatives.
The workshop had three sessions. In his opening remarks, Ashutosh Dikshit, CEO, United RWAs for Joint Action talked about the need for RWAs to participate more actively in city governance. The first session was on Solar where speakers and panelist talked about the roadblocks in solar installation in common areas as well as individual households. The speakers in the solar session were Rakesh Kumar, Programme Director, International Solar Alliance, Rameshwar Singh, Project Officer, New and Renewable Energy Department, Haryana and HAREDA and Pankaj Verma, DGM-Distributed Solar, Renew Power. Haryana has a very progressive solar policy and Gurugram gets very good solar radiation, but despite that only 18.5 MW of solar rooftops are installed in the city. It was observed that RWA officials still had a number of information gaps and apprehensions will respect to solar. Mr Rakesh Kumar brought home the point that solar made ecological and economical sense both with or without the subsidy. Rameshwar Singh was hopeful that given net metering and a progressive solar policy, solar rooftops have a huge potential in Gurugram and combined households under an RWA can also get subsidy. Mr Pankaj Verma from Renew explained the two models – Capex and Opex - that can be used for solar installation and informed the house that his company operates in both the models.
The second session was on water and waste management. The speakers in this session were Ankit Aggarwal, CEO, Eco Green Energy, Dr Veena Khanduri, Executive Secretary, India Water Partnership, Nikhil Jain, Director, Sanicon Sustainability Solutions, Lalit Sharma, Director-Adaptive Technologies, SMS Foundation, Gurugram, Aditya Chaudhary, Director, Eco Enviro Engineers. Ankit Aggarwal from Eco Green Energy Pvt Ltd that has been awarded the contract for integrated waste management of Gurugram including composting, recycling and waste- to-energy plant. He made a presentation about his company’s plans and objectives for waste management in Gurugram. He informed that Ecogreen will initiate door-to-door collection in two bins (dry and wet waste) from the entire city from December 2017 and start the waste to energy plant at Bandwari from June 2019. He informed that in the next six months Gurugram will be leachete free. The company will initiate many awareness camps within the city to engage with the citizens. Nikhil Jain talked about how water can be judiciously used in RWAs by repeated recycling. Dr Veena Khanduri talked about the role of various stakeholders in water management. Mr Lalit Sharma talked about how SMS Foundation building is operating as a green building with initiatives such as rainwater harvesting and waste water treatment. Aditya Chaudhary talked about how biogas can be made from waste.
In the third session, Yogesh Sanklecha from Acme Cleantech Solutions talked about his company’s plans to provide e-rickshaws to RWA on a lease rental Rs 8,000 a month. Deen Mohammad Khan, Horticulture officer of Gurugram talked about the importance of eating chemical free vegetables and explained his initiative to lease land to Gurugrammers for organic farming. Abhishek Mishra urged RWAs to send participants for the upcoming Millennium City Marathon in Gurugram on October 29, 2017. Dr N Bangar additional commissioner from Municipal Corporation, Gurugram explained that Gurugram will continue to have both decentralised and centralised approaches towards waste management.
Mr V Umashankar, commissioner, MCG informed that RWAs are free to segregate and compost waste at their local level; however financial incentives for making of sheds for composting etc will now no longer be provided by MCG since Ecogreen has taken up integrated waste management of the city since September 2017. He also informed that training and rehabilitation of ragpickers is part of Ecogreen’s responsibility under the contract and the contract with the company is only for solid waste and not for e-waste, biomedical waste or C&D waste. He expressed helplessness about not been able to handle C&D waste on account of the NGT stay for the upcoming IL&FS facility for C&D management. He also informed that MCG has initiated four waste water treatment plants in four villages of Gurugram.
The lead sponsor of the event was Renew Power Ventures Ltd, while the associate sponsors were Eco Green Energy Pvt Ltd and Acme Cleantech Solutions Ltd.