Lack of Adequate Waste Management in Bihar

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There is no project yet to harness methane gas from quarries. Presently, Patna Municipal Corporation is letting the gas into the atmosphere that can be used to produce electricity. The state government can produce 2MW of power from quarries that are filled with 750 tonnes of garbage every day and placed in fallow land.

Patna High Court has also cautioned innumerable times on garbage output and the way they are managed. I have also indicated through media that another disaster like the Bhopal gas tragedy may occur if civic authorities fail to take steps to control gas emanating from garbage dumped in various quarry pits.

Similarly, I have warned that most of the apartments built on dumping grounds are accumulating methane gas underneath the ground and a minor tremor or any gas leakage prove to be devastating on these apartments endangering the lives of the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, there is no pollution control board in Bihar and if it exists, it does not have any expert in the field of solid waste technology and management.

A short exposure to Sulphur Dioxide can harm the respiratory system making breathing very difficult. It can also affect visibility by reacting with other particles in the air to form haze and stain culturally important projects such as statues and monuments

Nitrogen Dioxide, on the other hand, besides aggravating respiratory illness and causing haze to form by reacting with other particles in the air, causes acid rain and pollutes water.

High concentration of Carbon Monoxide in the air reduces oxygen supply to critical organs like the heart and the brain. At a very high level, it can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness, and even death.

Pollution can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in people with heart and lung disease.

The government's failure to address these health issues has put the mass at a crossroad in Bihar.


Dr A. P. Verma, Retired University Professor, PG Botany, A. N. College, Patna (presently in Bangalore).

Dr Verma was in Philadelphia between 2008 and 2009 and got training in Delaware state on solid waste management under the supervision of Dr Mersky, chair of Widener University.

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