Varanasi, one of India's historic cultural capitals, an international tourist destination and a fast growing urban centre, suffers from a severe lack of waste collection and processing. IL&FS Environment has been mandated to carry out waste collection and transportation (C&T) in 14 wards of the city, cleaning of 84 famous Ghats, and revival of the defunct compost plant.

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Innovations and Impact

  1. Using automated sweepers and machinery, with stainless steel dustbins installed at all the ghats, the project ensures that the Ghat areas frequented by pilgrims and tourists remain clean all the time. By maintaining cleanliness in the pilot project area of Pakka Mahal, a congested zone famous for its narrow lanes, the project is also discouraging cattle on the streets.
  2. The project includes managing temple waste separately, waste collection in commercial and residential locations, separate collection of C&D and flower waste from Ghats, and day and night sweeping. Rag pickers have been trained in waste segregation and cleanliness. The operating koodaghars have been reduced to 1 from 6 in the project area, and illegal dumping has been stopped.
  3. Overcoming major challenges, the project has revived the defunct composting facility. Now operating at full capacity, the plant processes municipal waste, positively impacting the health and hygiene of the nearby communities.
  4. Information, Education and Communication awareness programs are being conducted to sensitize the local population to stop open defecation, littering, and using the river to wash clothes. Stakeholder engagement for local communities is also being carried out.


May 2016 C&T started
September 2016 Ghat cleaning started
September 2016 MSW processing started at composting facility



IL&FS Environment Varanasi Project
Project website partnering Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

IL&FS Environment
IL&FS Environmental Infrastructure & Services Ltd (IEISL)

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