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PMC to conduct inquiry into Ramtekdi garbage processing plant fire

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to conduct an inquiry into the fire which occurred at the garbage collection and processing plant at Ramtekdi on Saturday night
By Siddharth Gadkari, Pune
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:45 PM IST

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to conduct an inquiry into the fire which occurred at the garbage collection and processing plant at Ramtekdi on Saturday night.

A major fire broke out at the PMC garbage collection and processing plant located at Ramtekadi industrial area. The PMC fire department rushed to the spot and used 11 fire tenders and water tankers to douse the fire. The plant was set up four years ago. The capacity of the processing plant was 25 tonnes per day when it was started and now it had increased to 75 tonnes per day. It used the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) technology to process the garbage.

Additional municipal commissioner Dr Kunal Khemnar visited the spot on Sunday along with local corporators. He said, “We visited the plant and took details of the incident. There are close circuit television (CCTVs) cameras here. We have taken the CCTV footage for investigation. We will conduct an inquiry and file a detailed report of the incident. The plant processes daily garbage and produces RDF. Company supplies RDF to different companies to use in boilers. The capacity of the plant is 75 tonnes per day. We found that there was two days of RDF in the plant.”

He further said, “We will get a detailed report of the incident in two days. The company had insured the plant. Company officials told us that they will clear all garbage and start planning as early as possible. Prime facie we don’t find any evidence of man-made incidents. It looked like an accidental mishap. However, we are starting an inquiry.”

The first unit of RDF was initiated by PMC in 2008. The contract was given to Hanjar to process 1,000 tonnes of garbage per day. The plant was never run on full capacity and it closed down in 2014. The technology used by Hanjar was green technology to recycle mixed solid waste into valuable products (Refuse Derived fuel).

At that stage, it was new technology and very few players in the market who had been using this technology and producing RDF. Due to less competition, processing companies were getting good returns. Now, companies have increased in the market and RDF is getting less value in the market.

Vivek Velankar, a civic activist, said, “Corporation should conduct an inquiry about the fire incident at the Ramtekdi garbage processing plant. How and when the fire broke and what is the reason behind that. The report should be made public. At present, garbage is the most discussed topic in the PMC. We have already taken objection to appointing an agency to process garbage without bothering to do any tendering to pick a contractor.”

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