Building Rubble or Malba : Just can’t let go

Delhi has an obsession with malba which it Just can’t let go. Due apologies to Sir Charles Jones, because he did not have building rubble in mind while writing the song. But for Delhiites, malba is something close to their hearts.

construction malba
Pride and heart of Delhi, construction malba

Construction debris or malba as it is called locally is a major issue the world over. It costs lots of money to dispose off rubble. Countries have come with innovative ways to handle it. But Delhi has other plans. It wants to paint the town red, with malba mounds. These mounds are regularly decorated with a commode.

The decoration of Delhi cityscape begins with a desire to redesign the house. Hours and hours of discussion go in fine tuning minute details. Everything worked down to the last rupee and deadlines. One thing is missed out though, the construction waste. The general understanding is to simply follow the age old practice.

Government authorities have come up with a number of initiatives to tackle the construction debris issues. Fines have been imposed. Matter has even been referred to the Supreme Court. But as MCD officials say, people refuse to mend their ways. Construction malba poses a serious problem in winters and adds to the pollution levels. To discourage dumping, MCD imposes fines and distributes leaflets to spread awareness. But even in upscale places like Greater Kailash, CR park, Green Park, etc fines amounting to Rs 1.12 crore has been collected between May to July 2018. This period incidentally has least construction activity due to holidays.

debris dumped at garbage bin
Construction rubble wrongly dumped at garbage point.

Construction waste is dumped just about anywhere. But peculiar problem is where it is dumped to almost block a lane. Dangerous especially at night on poorly lit roads for bikers and motorists alike.

Construction malba spilling on the road
Malba spilling on the road
Not only occupying the footpath but also a lane.
Road space reduced to half

Another issue is each of this mounds becomes a garbage dumping site too. People traveling up and down the road simply mistaken it for garbage dump and throw their polythene filled garbage directly within the malba. This make segregation an additional task for the people who ultimately come to clear it. It also impedes in the recycling of construction debris.

Garbage thrown at the construction waste mounds. This creates problem in proper segregation and disposal.
Garbage waste dumped with malba
Malba dumped on footpath practically covering it
Construction waste dumped on the footpath

One of the major initiatives by the government is the provision of construction waste disposal sites all over the city. Around 30 such places have been marked with red colored waste bins. At a nominal charge of Rs 1,500 per tonne, citizen can dispose their construction waste at these sites. Use of such sites is increasing slowly with the hope that one day will dawn when Delhiites will let go of their love and affection for construction debris.

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