Chandigarh yet to get fully functional waste processing plant
It has been a year since the municipal corporation (MC) took over the Sector-25 solid waste processing plant from a private firm, but the city is yet to get a fully functional facility.
The MC General House had terminated Jaypee Group’s contract in March last year and taken over the plant in June. The MC’s contention for the takeover was that despite being set up in 2005, the plant had not been operating to its optimum capacity.
A report by the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, in August last year, had stated that at the time the plant was working at only 10% of its 500 metric tonne (MT) capacity. MC commissioner KK Yadav, however, said that even after being operated by the civic body, it was processing only 70 MT waste. The city produces nearly 450MT of solid waste per day.
Devinder Singh Babla, Congress councillor and leader of opposition, said, “The private firm running it was processing much more waste than what the MC is doing, which as per MC’s own records is around 30 MT.”
The plant when run by the firm was processing anywhere between 120 MT to 200 MT waste per day, as per MC officials.
Even as the MC continues to dump most of its solid waste without processing, the decision to finalise the technology for upgrading the plant has not been taken yet.
Set up new plant: IIT Roorkee report
Recommending setting up of a new “modern” waste processing plant at the existing site in Dadumajra, IIT in its report had stated that even after the existing machinery is repaired, the plant could at best run at only 40% of its total capacity. The plant was constructed in 2008 as per the Municipal Solid Waste, 2000 (MSW), guidelines.
The department of civil engineering, IIT Roorkee, in its “Status report of 500 TPD solid waste processing plant, Chandigarh” had stated: “The best way is to set up a new modern 500 TPD (tonnes per day) plant for dry and wet waste treatment in the given plot. For the wet waste stream, biological treatment will be required to meet Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016.”
Why the delay
For nearly 10 months now, the MC has not been able to decide which technology to use to upgrade the plant. Thirteen companies had submitted their expression of interests (EOI) in January this year after an EOI was floated by the MC last year.
A technical committee was constituted to examine all options. Detailed presentations were made by the firms and the report was tabled before the MC General House in April this year.
No decision was taken. Most councillors had demanded the 13 companies make the presentations to them again. In the next House meeting when the agenda was again tabled, the councillors expressed yet again their inability to fully understand the technologies. They demanded a tour of sites where these technologies were being used.
Now, the decision is likely to come after visits to two plants in Delhi, one in Ambala and one in Nasik. On Wednesday, a MC team comprising Mayor, joint commissioner and eight councillors visited two waste processing plants in Delhi on Wednesday.
Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said, “We will complete the visits within this month. The technology will be finalised by month-end. If needed, after a special MC House meet, we will finalise and float the tenders in July itself. We expect that by August-end, we will allot the work.”