The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) project to dispose of waste and close the 40-year-old Mulund dumping ground has finally found takers. After changing the conditions mentioned in the tender and five successive failed attempts, the civic body received three bids last month.
The civic body got bidders only after accepting the demand made by the contractors that they be allowed to process all the waste — 60 lakh metric tonnes — at the landfill.
As per civic body’s earlier condition, 30 lakh metric tonnes of waste was to be processed in three years on four hectares as it feared that contractors would fail and will not bid. However, the contractors wanted permission to process the entire waste at the dump in five years and not three, as stated earlier by the civic body. They also claimed that conditions laid down by the civic body earlier were unprofitable.
“Our target is to recover the land after processing waste, which is comparatively new for the companies. Other than the size of the project (it will be spread over 4 hectares), this is also the first time in the country that such an initiative will be undertaken because of which companies are not coming forward. The risk involved is high,” said a civic official.
In addition, companies will be the sole owner of the final product obtained after processing the waste. The BMC can buy the final product, which can be anything from electricity to compost.
Unlike Deonar, the BMC has not specified the method that contractors or companies should implement to process waste at the site. It plans to begin the construction of the processing plant at the dumping ground this year. However, poor response to the project had raised doubts over its methodology and success.
Mulund is the second largest dumping ground in Mumbai and had reported more than three instances of fire last year. Also, as per the Bombay high court order in February, starting from June 30, 2017, the BMC will not be allowed to dump 5,200 metric tonnes of waste daily at its two main dumping sites — Deonar and Mulund. The civic body has planned to seek an extension.