The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Delhi’s Mounting Waste Crisis

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Environment Conservation 

Revision Notes

Question : Analyze the key challenges faced by Delhi in waste management and also discuss the implications of these challenges on environmental sustainability and public health.

  • Population:
    • 2011 Census: 1.7 crore
    • 2024 Estimated: 2.32 crore
  • Waste Generation:
    • Daily waste: 13,000 tonnes (tonnes per day (TPD))
    • Per capita generation: 0.6 kg/day
  • Collection:
    • 90% collected by municipal corporations (Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Cantonment Board)
  • Waste Composition: (Typical Indian Cities)
    • Biodegradable wet waste: 50-55%
    • Non-biodegradable wet waste: 35%
    • Inert waste: 10%
  • Processing Capacity:
    • Facilities at Okhla, Bhalswa, Narela, Bawana, Tehkhand, SMA Industrial Area, Nilothi, Ghazipur
    • Unprocessed waste disposed of daily: 3,800 TPD (landfills)
  • Landfills:
    • Gazipur, Bhalswa, Okhla
    • Issues: methane gas generation, leachate formation, landfill fires, environmental damage
  • Biomining Initiative:
    • Launched by MCD in 2019 to reduce landfill waste
    • Stalled by COVID-19 pandemic
    • Completion delayed by 2-3 years (from initial 2024 target)

Challenges of Delhi’s Waste Management

  • Lack of source segregation: Mixed waste entering landfills due to poor segregation at homes and businesses.
  • Land scarcity: Large land parcels (30-40 acres) needed for processing plants, which is a major challenge in Delhi.
  • Public awareness: Low public awareness on proper waste management leads to littering and improper disposal.
  • Inconsistent collection: Areas lacking regular collection services see waste buildup and littering.
  • Illegal dumping: Open dumping in areas and water bodies strains municipal resources.
  • Stakeholder coordination: Poor coordination between multiple municipal corporations hinders efficient waste management.

What Needs to Be Done

  • Scale up processing: Delhi needs processing capacity for 18,000 tonnes per day (TPD) to manage waste from a projected population of 3 crore.
  • Biodegradable waste processing: Composting or biogas generation for 9,000 TPD of wet waste.
  • Non-biodegradable dry waste management:
    • Segregate recyclable materials (2%) for recycling facilities.
    • Convert non-recyclable fraction (33%) into refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for generating power.

The Way Forward

  • Partnership with neighboring states: Delhi may need to collaborate with neighboring states to set up composting plants due to land limitations.
  • Decentralized and centralized processing: Integrate decentralized options for both wet and dry waste with large-scale processing facilities to ensure complete scientific processing.
  • Full capacity utilization: Ensure existing processing plants operate at full capacity while building new ones to eliminate untreated waste.
  • Learning best practices: Urban local bodies should adopt successful waste management practices from other Indian and international cities.



The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Obesity and Colorectal Cancer Risk

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Health

Revision Notes

Question : Examine the challenges and opportunities in translating research findings on obesity and Colorectal cancer (CRC) risk into clinical practice and public health policies, considering factors such as genetic testing, lifestyle interventions, and healthcare infrastructure.

Basic Concept : Colorectal cancer (CRC) risk is the chance of developing this type of cancer. Some factors increase your risk, like:

  • Age: Most cases occur over 50.
  • Family history: Having close relatives with CRC raises your risk.
  • Lifestyle: Diet high in red or processed meats, low in fiber, obesity, smoking, and heavy drinking can increase risk.
  • Medical conditions: Inflammatory bowel disease and certain genetic syndromes can also play a role.

Back to the Editorial

  • Higher risk: A study suggests both general obesity and central obesity (being tall with excess weight around the waist) are linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).
  • Global concern: Obesity rates are rising worldwide.
  • India specific:
    • A 2022 Lancet study estimated obesity rates at 9.8% for women and 5.4% for men.
    • CRC risk is higher for obese individuals.
    • CRC incidence is relatively low in India.
    • Five-year survival rate for CRC patients in India is one of the world’s lowest (under 40%).
    • CRC patients in India tend to be younger and diagnosed at later stages.

Obesity Measurement:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to define obesity (overweight: 25 kg/m2, obese: 30 kg/m2).
  • BMI doesn’t account for fat distribution.

New Study Findings:

  • Researchers analyzed DNA of over 400,000 people to identify genetic variations linked to four body shapes.
  • Genome-wide association study (GWAS) was used to find correlations between genes and traits.
  • The study suggests different genes might be linked to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk based on body fat distribution:
    • Generally Obese (PC1): Variation in AKT gene (regulates cell survival and blood vessel formation) might be linked to higher CRC risk.
    • Tall & Centrally Obese (PC3): Variation in RAF1 gene (involved in cell transformation) might be linked to higher CRC risk.

Gene Expression: These genetic variations were most highly expressed in the brain and pituitary gland (hormone regulation).

Future Research: Studies needed to understand CRC risk in obese individuals without typical health complications (heart disease, diabetes).

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