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Clean Technology Initiative (CTI) Project - a program of U S Agency for International Development (USAID) was launched in May 2003 for the Taz Trapezium Zone (TTZ) to assist the industries and urban sectors to minimize pollution which affects the great monument Taj Mahal. CTI offers technical and financial assistance to identified polluting industrial sectors, which includes foundry, diesel engine manufacturing units and glass and bangle units to adopt clean, climate friendly technologies and certifiable environmental management systems (ISO 14001). CTI aims to promote demonstration projects with improved technical and environmental performance and is working closely with these three sectors and a significant achievement in terms of technology upgradation and setting up environmental management systems has been achieved. These three sectors were facing threatening of closure due change over of fuel source from highly polluting coal to clean natural gas at the instruction of the Honb’le Supreme Court of India. CTI support to them not only helps the industry to survive in an environmentally sustainable way but also avoids a large number of people (about 350,000) to become jobless.
CTI is currently assisting eleven units pertaining to foundry, glass and bangle and diesel engine manufacturing units for adopting ISO 14001, setting up waste water treatment and recirculation plant in the glass industries to save large quantity of water used in the process of glass making. Recovery plant of heavy metals, especially gold, silver and chromium which are used for making decorative glasses are simply discharged with the stream of water in the main drain.
CTI is also working extensively in the urban sector namely in two areas: i) municipal solid wastes and ii) transportation. Due to massive increase in population, especially in the city of Agra, there is virtually no management for municipal solid wastes handling and disposal and also in the transport sectors. Situation has further worsened by the increased floating population that includes tourists coming to visit Taj and other historical attraction, agricultural work force that become job less during "No crop" season. CTI is currently giving technical assistance to Agra Nagar Nigam (municipality) for the development of an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for the entire city of Agra that includes the "Door-to-Door" collection, segregation and disposal technique. It also develops "Waste-to-energy" plant with the private participation in a commercially viable way. CTI has already set up a demonstration plant to generate gas from "Petha waste" – a waste generated by sweet making industry using petha fruit as basic raw materials. The demo plant is successfully generating methane gas from the petha waste which is being used as a source of fuel and replacing coal for petha making. This has made tremendous impact to the state and local administration and given some solution to get rid of about 30 to 35 TPD of waste (categorized as industrial waste but mixed with MSW) generated by more than 200 small and tiny units located within the heart of the city and difficult to move them out due to social, economic and political compulsions.
CTI is also providing technical assistance and a grant was sanctioned to a NGO for "Door-to-Door" collection of waste, segregate and disposal in a scientific way and comply the laws.
CTI has also conducted traffic and transportation feasibility study to make a "Pollution Free Tourists Access" to Agra since the economy of this city is largely depends upon the tourists coming all over the world. The study indicates the linkages between the chaotic and irregular traffic vis-a-vis the air quality. The feasibility report has been submitted to the state and local governments for adoption.
CTI conducted several workshops/interactive meets with stake holders since inception of this project.