Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said the central government has come up with new policy permitting 8% plastic waste to be mixed with bitumen in road asphalting works. He claimed the policy was framed for transforming waste to wealth and also disposal of plastic waste, which is a threat to environment.
Gadkari inaugurated Nagpur Municipal Corporation's (NMC) eight-day women's entrepreneurship exhibition-cum-sale on Sunday at Kasturchand Park. Actress Sonali Kulkarni was the star attraction of the inaugural programme.
Asking NMC to begin blending plastic waste in bitumen, Gadkari asked women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to begin collecting plastic waste and selling it to the civic body, which could earn them up to Rs35 per kg. "My ministry (MoRTH) has issued a notification permitting plastic waste blending with bitumen some days ago. There are many methods for making wealth from waste. Amino acid is being produced from human hair waste in the city. This is used as fertilizer and supplied to farmers. Now, the industry manufacturing amino acid has entered into a big deal with Dubai and is about to export it," he said.
Gadkari added development projects worth Rs25,000 crore were approved for the city and will be executed soon. "I have taken up two projects on top priority — facilitating flats at affordable rates to 50,000 needy people and employment to 50,000 youths. I suggest NMC and NIT should adopt new technologies and bring down construction cost to Rs1,000 per sq ft. Centre is going to provide financial assistance. One flat with area of 450 sq ft will be provided at a cost of Rs3.50 lakh to beneficiaries. Process to obtain loan from a German bank is underway to provide loans at subsidized rates so beneficiaries can pay their contribution of Rs3.50 lakh. Beneficiaries will also get a bed, sofa set and free power supply for lifetime," he said.
Gadkari also said execution of shopping mall for women SHGs will begin soon at Badkas Square. "Each category of women SHGs should be given 10 days to sell their products at the mall without taking any charges. NMC is organizing the exhibition-cum-sale for last six years and it is a commendable effort. NMC should invite government departments and private institutions having new technologies to generate self-employment at the exhibition from next year to benefit women SHGs," he said.
Mayor Pravin Datke said 200 stalls were made available for women SHGs at the exhibition at a minimal rate of Rs200 per stall. "All stalls were booked within one hour of opening. Around 150 applications are in waiting. NMC is the only civic body in the state to implement midday meal scheme through women SHGs," he said.
Datke, chairperson of women and child welfare committee Rashmi Fadnavis and municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar visited all stalls at the exhibition.
Ruling party leader Dayashankar Tiwari, standing committee chairman Sudhir Raut, MLC Anil Sole and MLAs Milind Mane and Vikas Kumbhare were present.