Eight firms have approached the GHMC to set up bio-mining units where garbage is converted into organic manure to enrich the soil nutrients for agriculture.

For years, the very mention of Autonagar produced sniggers or wrinkled noses as it was more synonymous with the municipal waste dumping site. Times have changed and the 45-odd acre site has become much-sought-after these days.

The site with accumulated garbage of more than 25 lakh tonnes in about 25 years of dumping before the Jawaharnagar site came into being in Kapra seven years ago, has become a hot property. With the support of influential bigwigs including a city MLA, as many as eight firms have approached the GHMC to set up bio-mining units where garbage is converted into organic manure to enrich the soil nutrients for agriculture.

Conversion happens when the municipal waste is compacted, injected with air through perforated pipes and microbes with constant tossing and turning for a few days to form into a mineral-rich compost.

The sudden interest and the powerful people behind the enterprises made the civic body lob the ball into the government’s court seeking a policy. But, the ball got lobbed back with the advice to take its own decision. Guidelines have to be framed to allow such units to flourish, senior municipal officials indicated.

The municipal corporation should be too happy if the accumulated garbage is utilised but the catch is there is already a private firm, Bhavani Bio-organics, dredging the waste and converting it into bio-compost for the last few years after getting permission as a pilot project.

Having pioneered the work and secured a market with a prominent fertilizer firm even picking up a five per cent stake, the firm has been seeking extension of permission. Senior officials are not inclined to dismiss its plea yet and are unsure on accommodating the existing and the prospective new players.

Loud thinking is to divide the pie among all the players once the financial and technical issues are sorted out. Whatever happens, bio-mining is sure to rid Autonagar of garbage in a decade or less if permissions are given.

Will it be another golf-course in the making? After all, the Golconda golf course was also a dump yard just a few years ago.