Mumbai has no space to set up plants to process waste

  • Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 22:04 IST

The BMC’s idea to process waste at the ward-level continues to remain on paper five months after it was floated. The reason: Not a single ward has been able to allot the required one-acre plot to set up one waste processing plant.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had planned to set up two small waste processing plants in each ward to reduce the burden on Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds.

AS Ansari, chief engineer of the solid waste management department, said, “We have reminded the ward officers several times but none of them have responded. The issue is being raised in every meeting, but nothing has happened. The city needs the plants to process waste in small quantities. This will help reduce garbage generation.”

While some assistant municipal commissioners said they were unable to find the required space in their respective wards, others are yet to begin the process.

A ward officer, who does not wish to be named, said, “Municipal land within city limits is scarce; it is tough to allot even one acre of land. There are other restrictions too as the plot must be located in a place where waste can be dumped and processed.”

If set up, the small waste processing plants will help process five to 10 tonnes of waste per day. It has been a while since the BMC has been planning to set up processing plants in the dumping grounds. The project, however, has not been able to take off.

The idea of setting up small plants in every ward was a move to reduce the burden at the dumping grounds and reducing transportation cost.

A senior civic official, who does not wish to be named, said, “Each ward should ideally have at least two such plants for best results. But we are not able to find space for even one plant. Other civic have been doing very little to help us carry forward the idea. We may soon send another notification, making it compulsory for ward officers to find space for the plants.”

Smaller plants to process garbage
* Small waste processing plants can five to 10 tonnes of garbage every day

* The BMC had planned two such plants in all 24 wards

* One plant requires at least one acre of land

* The technology to be used is yet to be finalised but most likely, the BMC is expected to use bio-methanisation technology to process waste

* In the process, waste will be methanised and can be used as construction material

* Setting up smaller plants will also mean segregation of waste, which is an urgent need in the city

* These plants will help reduce the quantity of waste dumped in dumping grounds.

Hurdles faced
* The BMC has called for expression of interest for the plants but there is no space available yet

* Municipal ward officers, who were asked to find at least an acre of land in their respective wards, have failed to find a suitable location in five months

* These plants will also require the citizens to segregate dry and wet waste.

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