Coimbatore Integrated Waste Management Limited has begun preliminary works for plant

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s proposal to encourage municipalities to go in for waste-to-energy projects has come as a shot in the arm for the Coimbatore Corporation.

In his Budget speech on Thursday, the Minister said: “India tosses out several thousand tonnes of garbage each day. We will evolve a scheme to encourage cities and municipalities to take up waste-to-energy projects in PPP mode, which would be neutral to different technologies. I propose to support municipalities that will implement waste-to-energy projects through different instruments such as viability gap funding, repayable grant and low cost capital.”

According to sources in the Coimbatore Corporation the announcement has come at a time when the civic body has been planning a waste-to-energy plant at the waste management yard in Vellalore. The agency in charge of processing the waste, Coimbatore Integrated Waste Management Limited, is planning the plant and has begun preliminary works.

Sources say that the agency after assessing the refuse-derived fuel will go in for a plant to generate it. The fuel is the shredded and dehydrated solid waste. It has identified a Japanese agency with which it will enter into an agreement for the gasification technology.

The agency has submitted a proposal in this regard to the Corporation, the sources say and add that the proposal is for processing 150 tonnes a day. The Corporation collects and manages around 800 tonnes a day.

Aside from this, the civic body is also planning another waste-to-energy project under ‘Shunya,’ the zero waste management project that is funded by international agencies.

The sources say that in Ward 23 – the ward where the Corporation will implement Shunya on a trial basis – it proposes to set up a gasifier plant to generate electricity from the organic waste collected in the ward.

Another waste-to-energy project that the Corporation has proposed is power generation from the proposed sewage treatment plant in Ondipudur. With a slight modification in design, the Corporation hoped to generate electricity, the then Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy had said.

The sources say that with the Corporation proposing all these projects on the public-private partnership mode, it was happy with the Minister’s announcement.

The city’s civic activists have also welcomed the announcement. R. Raveendran of the Residents’ Awareness Association of Coimbatore says that the Corporation should grab the opportunity for two reasons: one, it will help in better waste management, and, two, it will also bring down Corporation’s expenditure towards power.

He suggests that the Corporation can tie-up with hoteliers association or fruit merchants’ association for a constant supply of organic waste to fuel the plants.

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