Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has asked civic officials to bring clarity into the process of transferring land on which the Kanjurmarg dump is built to a private operator so that the land is not locked because of any litigation that may arise in future.
He has also suggested that the BMC should invest in building a waste treatment plant in case the operator does not approve of the land lease agreement.
Since the transfer of land has been delayed, the Kanjurmarg dumping ground cannot expand its facility. When fully operational, the ground will treat waste diverted from the Deonar landfill, which is rapidly becoming full. The city generates 6,500 tonnes of garbage every day, of which Kanjurmarg treats only 500 tonnes. The BMC wants it to accommodate a capacity of at least 4,000 tonnes of waste daily.
Chavan held a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue following a demand raised by Congress legislator Charan Singh Sapra. He told BMC officials to convince the operator (M/s Anthony Lara Envriotech Ltd) that he would have to run the facility without getting the land on lease from the government because the land might get locked in litigation if he raises funds by mortgaging the land and fails to repay the loan. But the operator who has been given contract has been insisting that he is unable to raise finances because of a lack of lease agreement.
Sapra told HT that Chavan wanted the operator to raise finance by mortgaging the equipment and not the land. “The CM also suggested to BMC chief Sitaram Kunte that civic body invest Rs. 200 crore to build the plant and outsource operations to a private party,” the MLC said.
Civic officials said that while mortgaging the land was not allowed under the contract, the CM’s order would be welcome. “This order is finally ends the suspense over the decision on the land-lease agreement, an issue that contractors have often been quoting as the reason behind their non-performance.”