Jaypee Group offers to hand over garbage processing plant to Chandigarh MC
Jaypee Group, which has for long been struggling to timely process garbage generated in the city at its Dadumajra plant, has offered to hand over the facility to the Chandigarh municipal corporation, subject to the payment of its salvage value.
Salvage value is the estimated book value of an asset after depreciation is complete.
The MC has in principle agreed to the offer and called the Jaypee management to thrash out details next week. The meeting is expected either on Tuesday or Thursday.
The development comes amid Chandigarh performing poorly in the first quarters of Swachh Survekshan 2020. Poor solid waste management remains a key reason for the City Beautiful slipping in the rankings in the past couple of years.
Confirming it, MC commissioner KK Yadav said the offer was made on Tuesday, through the company’s senior official Harish Vaidya.
“The ground situation is not good. We are ready to move in this direction since the company has been unable to run the plant effectively. Due to their failure, lakhs of tonnes of unprocessed garbage has piled up at the open dumping ground opposite the plant, creating an environmental hazard for the whole city,” said Yadav.
Yadav said in case the plant comes under the MC, “we will make sure that 450 tonnes of waste that is generated daily in the city is fully processed, unlike the present situation where as much as 85% of it is thrown unprocessed in the dumping ground due to the plant’s failure”.
Yadav said the UT administration lately allotted a tender worth ₹33 crore to remove 5 lakh tonnes of waste accumulated on the dumping ground. “If the plant’s functioning is not streamlined, there will be yet another mountain of unprocessed waste at the dumping site in near future. This means public expenditure of further ₹ 40-50 crore to remove it,” he said.
Mayor Raj Bala Malik, too, is in favour of taking control of the plant. She said the plant’s current functioning is “very poor, holding the city to ransom”.
“This can’t be allowed to continue as we need to explore a permanent solution. The company’s offer will be discussed in detail in the next week’s meeting fixed by the MC commissioner,” she said.
ON TIPPING FEE
Plant manager NK Vohra also confirmed that senior company executives will be in the city next week to carry forward talks with the MC.
Vohra said the company is finding it difficult to run the plant without getting tipping fee, which the MC has refused to pay.
Tipping fee is the charge levied upon a given quantity of waste received at a processing facility.
Yadav said that according to the agreement, there was no provision of providing tipping fee, “as they (Jaypee Group) themselves agreed to set up the plant and then recover their cost by selling garbage byproducts”.
“If they are unable to recover their cost, it is not the MC’s fault. We had an agreement for 30 years,” he said.
According to the MC chief, modalities for the takeover, once finalised, will take at least two to three months, as there will be an independent evaluation of the plant’s assets and its current market value.
“Once it is done, the report will be tabled in the MC House for final approval,” said Yadav. Jaypee Group claimed to have spent ₹32 crore when the plant was started in 2007. As per rough estimates, the plant’s current value will be anything between ₹8 crore and ₹10 crore.
Yadav said whatever is the final figure, the takeover will be in the city’s interest.
On whether the MC will be able to run it, Yadav said annual expenditure will be ₹7-8 crore, but “it will ensure that the waste is processed timely and there is no further pile-up at the dumping site”.
450-500 tonnes: Daily waste generated in city
200 tonnes: Average amount processed every day
10 lakh tonnes: Waste accumulated in dumping ground
5 lakh tonnes: Waste to be cleared in legacy mining project
YET TO PAY PENALTY
Six months on, Jaypee has not even paid ₹1.41-crore penalty that the MC imposed on it for its non-performance and spoiling the environment. Even Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee imposed a similar penalty after the plant faltered on requisite environment norms. But no payment has been made yet.