B I O D A T A 2015
MRS ALMITRA H PATEL Parsi Zoroastrian, 79 years young.
50 Kothnur Village, Bagalur Road, Bangalore 560077. India.
Mobile: +91 98443 02914
Tel: +91-80-2846 5365
Email: almitrapatel@rediffmail.com

B Sc Chemistry-Botany from Bombay University, 1956.
B S General Engineering 1958 and M S Ceramics 1959 from
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
Course for the Small Businessman, Administrative Staff College of India, 1966.

Business Experience:

1960-91 : 31 years’ experience in Abrasives, Foundry-Refractories and Cement Tile industries. Indigenous production of imported items. Wrote an induction furnace refractories User Manual, which has been translated into 5 languages for distribution in 80 countries by a Swedish collaborating firm, Svenska Silika.

1985-88 Member, Bureau of Indian Stds Committee for Monolithic Refractories

1972 to 2002: Managed the family’s 50,000-bird poultry farms at Kothnur Village
outside Bangalore, where we live.

1961 to date: Trustee and Executive Committee Member for Sarasvati Education Sociiety’s 4 educational institutions at Devlali (3500 village students).

Environmental Experience:

1969-1972 : Honorary Project Officer for an international effort to save the Gir lions (BNHS + Smithsonian Institution PL480 Project) with total responsibility for project planning, accounting, reporting, monitoring of scientific field work and liaison with State & Central Governments.

1972-80 Executive Committee Member, World Wildlife Fund Southern Region

1973 to date Honorary Tree Warden for Karnataka

1978 to date Designed and supervised construction of 41 low-cost homes,
22 poultry sheds and 2 large school buildings.

1994-96 Member, Think Tank, Karnataka Land Army Corporation

1994-96 Member, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s ‘Save Ulsoor Lake’ Committee.

1995-97 Convener, Bangalore Chapter of INTACH (Trust for Art &Cultural Heritage)

1995: Founder Member Swabhimana (NGO forum wkg with Blr City)

1994 +1995 Co-leader with late Capt J S Velu of Exnora, of two EXNORA- INTACH Clean India Campaigns to 100 Municipalities, learning and sharing information on urban Solid Waste Management (SWM).

Have personally visited 165 Indian Municipalities to date (plus 21 facilities in 7 countries abroad) to inspect their waste management practices and interact with officials, thus becoming a self-educated subject expert on practical solutions to garbage and sanitation issues. Competent in very rapid status evaluation of a city’s Solid Waste Management status and possible practical solutions and best practices.

1996: Petitioner in Supreme Court (WP C 888/96) to stop the open dumping of garbage in 100,000+ pop’n cities in all Indian States and Union Territories resulting in the Notification of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000 by the Goverment of India’s Ministry of Environment, applicable to all town and cities over 20,000 population.

1998- One of 8 members of the Supreme Court Committee for Class 1 Cities, constituted to formulate a national policy for hygienic urban solid waste management and disposal; Report endorsed by the Supreme Court in February 2000.

1998-2001 Member of two Expert Committees appointed by the Mumbai High Court for solid waste disposal issues in Thane and Pune

1999 Member, Indian Environment Assn’s Think Tank on Waste-water Stds.

1999 Designed and built a gender-friendly low-cost toilet to prevent blockage of sewers, + two more toilets for rural Government schools.

2001 Solid Waste Management Consultant for Ganga ICDP-2 for 10 weeks.
Prepared a 124 page ‘Strategic Action Plan for Municipal Solid Waste Managemt in Kanpur: A Step-By-Step Approach’ (in English + Hindi).

2002- Solid Waste Management Advisor to India Canada Environment Facility (ICEF) for Clean Jharkhand Project of Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra, a 33-year old Statewide NGO in Jharkhand State.

2002 Planned and executed a 6-city 18-site study of decentralized composting with Chris Zurbrugg and Silke Drescher of SANDEC Switzerland, along with Indian environmental consultant Dr Sharatchandra.

2003-4 Special Invitee to Govt of India’s Task Force on Integrated Plant Nutrient Management using City Compost along with Chemical Fertiliser.

2003- Formulating Electronic Waste Management Draft Policy, Bangalore.

2004- Proposed Consultant to Govt of Uttaranchal for SWM Task Force

2004- Member, Central Pollution Control Board’s Task Force to amend and update the Municipal Solid Waste (M & H) Rules 2000.

2004- Member, Central Pollution Control Board’s Task Force to prepare E-Waste policy and legislation for India

2001-5 Guest Lecturer at several training sessions in Environmental Law and SWM conducted by the National Law School of India for members of State Pollution Control Boards, city managers etc.

2004- Honorary Consultant to Pakistan’s first compost plant at Lahore.

2005 Invitee to UNDP – Planning Commission – Govt of Delhi Consultation on Waste Management & Public Health in Delhi, April 2005

2005 Invited as Guest Speaker, Panelist and Chair for Asia Business Foundation’s Waste Management Conference at Kuala Lumpur.

2005-6 Invited by Govt of Rajasthan for SWM Advice

2007 to date Director, Ghardha Chemicals Ltd., & Trustee, Gharda Foundation

2012 Member, Solid Waste Management Expert Committee, Greater Bangalore Municipal Corporatoin

2014 Member MoEF Group for Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules 2015


1994: Economic Times’ Achiever of the Year for Environment in Karnataka.

1997:Golden Jubilee Award for Environment from Bangalore City Corp’n.

2004: Kempegowda Award-winner for Environment, (given by the Chief Minister of Karnataka State.

2011: Lifetime Achievement Award from Bangalore Recycling Habba

2015: Lifetime Achievement Hurrah! From Urban Sanitation

Memberships and Talks

Life Member Bombay Natural History Society, World Wildlife Fund, Youth Hostel Assn, INTACH, Indian Institute of Foundrymen, Indian Ceramic Society, SOCLEEN (Society for Clean Environment), IPHE (Inst. of Public Health Engineers), IEA (Indian Environment Assn and member of their Think Tank).

Annual Speaker at all Institute of Indian Foundrymen Conventions,1961-90.

Speaker at 6 International Solid Waste Management Conferences: Composting at Edmonton, Canada, ISWA at Hong Kong, R ’02 at Geneva, Viet Nam for University of Toronto project, Take-It-Back 2004 at SFO, AFI Malaysia 2005, CWG-WASH Kolkata 2006.

Regular lecturer on SWM issues at numerous Indian Conferences, Seminars, Workshops and educational training programs.

Honorary Advisor / supporter / mentor of numerous students, entrepreneurs, individuals and NGOs in the fields of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Waste Water Management.

Author of numerous publications and talks on foundry, forest, environment, housing, urban planning, solid waste management and sanitation.

Hobbies : Trekking, Travel, wildlife and heritage, writing poetry, reading.

Major Publications

“Vacuum Concrete” in Indian Concrete Journal, Jan 1959

“Track Down Your Induction Furnace Lining Problems” Troubleshooter distributed in 5 languages in 80 countries

20+ papers on induction furnace linings at Annual Conventions of Institute of Indian Foundrymen

“Strategic Action Plan for Lions of Gir Sanctuary” for Govt of Gujarat, 1971 (which won it the Best National Park Award 1973).

“Housing Wardens: Catalyst For People’s Housing” in People’s Action July 1987

“Devarabettas – Insurance Against Drought” in People’s Action (CAPART) Nov 89

“Green Ribbons, not Green Belts” in Times of India April 8, 1994

“Port-holed Slab Cists : Basements or Burials? An Anthropological Viewpoint”, in Karnataka Itihasa [History] Academy’s annual Journal 1990

Co-authored March 1999 “Report of Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste Management in Class 1 Cities in India” (105 pp)

“Strategic Action Plan for Municipal Solid Waste Management in Kanpur – A Step-By-Step Approach” July 2001 for Ganga-ICDP Project (154pp)

“Urban Haz-Waste: Producer Responsibility and Citizen Participation” in EnviroVision 2001 issue of Indian Environment Association

“Strategies for Slum - Free cities : A Discussion Paper”, a 22-page document submitted to the Supreme Court of India in 2002. It was a consultative compilation over 6 months which evolved from personal visits to, and email chats with, about 64 urban planners, NGOs, bureaucrats and subject experts in the field.

About 35 Power Point presentations and 120 papers from 1991 to date, on Solid Waste Management and related urban planning topics published in proceedings, or distributed, at numerous workshops and seminars. List can be made available if required.


Very strong technical background and experience in several engineering fields, good para-medical knowledge and on a wide variety of pollution-related issues. Widely traveled to many continents since years.

Ability to do a rapid walk-through assessment of a town’s or an area’s SWM status and suggest remedies, from very micro, low-cost, do-able practical aspects to long-term administrative, planning, policy-making, legislative issues.

Non-adversarial approach. Never raise a problem without simultaneously suggesting a possible solution, preferably very low-cost and do-able.

Ability to communicate in six languages and rapidly win the confidence of grass-roots workers, supervisory staff and bureaucrats alike.

Can achieve good field results if opportunity is given.

Enjoy “hand-holding” role for achieving results, and mentoring many students and entrepreneurs and one city manager in the waste-management field, and providing honorary consultancies and financial help to NGOs in a great variety of environmental fields.

Workaholic when it comes to solid waste management and pollution.

Very comfortable roughing it out in all conditions.


Little experience of or enjoyment in addressing and motivating members of the public or school-children in collective groups.

Limited experience of working in teams.

Too trusting by nature. Unable to find solutions to corruption-related issues or deliberate mis-management.

Disappointment and dissatisfaction in simply preparing consultancy documents that are not acted upon.

No time or patience for lengthy proposal-writing, fund-raising, periodic submission of reports and detailed account-keeping, Hence prefer a technical expert role under someone else who will comply with such formalities.

Opportunities: Can make a huge difference to a city willing to listen and accept genuine advice.