The All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh (AIKMM) has received the draft of the new Solid Waste Management Manual from the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), and we write this letter to express our initial response. We are pleased that waste management—and in particular, the important roles that informal waste workers play in municipal solid waste management—is receiving needed attention from India’s central ministries.
However, we are supremely disappointed in the process by which this manual has been drafted. First, the draft available online provides no transparent explanation of the process by which public comments may be submitted and considered for the required minimum of 60 days. Second, we were offended to not have received any invitation from the MoUD to participate in the “National Stakeholders Workshop” on 24-25th July, 2014 even though our members are among the most important stakeholders in the issues covered by this manual. And third, we ask that you acknowledge it was entirely inappropriate that AIKMM (and other stakeholders connected to the vast informal waste management economy in India) was excluded entirely from this manual’s drafting process, and that rather than play an integral role we have been asked merely to submit recommended revisions to a document that is all but complete. Read the complete document.