While the total spending on Deonar dumping ground has gone up by almost 3,000% of the original cost, the cost of the other two dumping grounds too has undergone a similar escalation, making them a big burden on the civic exchequer.
At Mulund, the city’s smallest dumping ground which can handle only 500 metric tons of waste every day, the consultant IL&FS had recommended in January 2006 that only Rs150 be paid to contractors as fee tipping per metric ton of garbage.
However, the consultant raised this figure to Rs290 per metric ton in February 2007. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) went a step ahead and paid Rs525 as tipping fee per metric ton of garbage to the contractor.
It was a similar story at Kanjurmarg dumping ground, the city’s newest dump site. After first proposing a tipping fee of Rs150 per metric ton here, the consultant revised it to Rs276 per metric ton. The BMC approved the final tipping fee at Rs525 per metric ton, a hike of 250% from the original fee.
An insider said the civic body, while tabling the Deonar proposal before the standing committee, compared its rates to that at Kanjurmarg dumping ground.
“The administration did not, however, disclose all information about how much garbage both the dumps will be using. Thus, it felt as if the rate quoted by the Deonar bidder was not so high. But it was actually a clever manipulation,” he said.
Despite the big money spent by the BMC, there is hardly any progress on the two dumping grounds. In fact, the civic body has been considering scrapping the contract allotted to a UPL-led consortium.
“There has been little progress on the ground four years after the contract was given to them. While we have been taking regular action against them, including penalising them, we are contemplating stricter action,” said an official of the BMC’s solid waste management department.