The groundwork for the proposed solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram has just started with KITCO, the public sector consultant, being selected for initiating the job.
The Local Self Government Department and KITCO will sign an agreement shortly authorising the latter to prepare the bid documents. It will also be responsible for selecting the agency which should implement the project. The bid documents would be ready within one month of the consultant being assigned the task, officials said.
Earlier, the State government had announced that it would set up a modern waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram in place of the existing one. The existing plant, which the Kochi Corporation had established with the funds allotted from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, had developed technical snags and the floor of the plant had developed cracks. Some portions of the floor even sank and the plant had to be shut down for some time. Later, the local body roped in a private agency for repairing and running the plant.
The new plant, with an installed capacity to process at least 300 tonnes of refuse a day, will cater to the needs of the Kochi Corporation and the adjoining municipalities. The paper works related to the bidding process for the new plant would be completed by March and it would take another one-and-a-half years for building the new plant. KITCO will also be responsible for overseeing the execution of the work and also the operations, officials said.
At the same time, V.P. Sajeendran, MLA, the legislator representing the Brahmapuram area, said the government had promised to complete the plant before March.
The delay in completing the process had been repeatedly brought to the attention of the authorities including the Minister concerned. The Minister had also offered to convene a meeting of the stakeholder agencies to discuss the issue, Mr. Sajeendran said.
Plant in participatory mode
The government plans to set up the plant in the Private-Public-Participation mode, and the government’s share would be the land on which the plant has to be constructed. The firm selected for the job will have to pay rent for the land. The profit of the company, which is willing to invest in the project, would come through the sale of electricity to be generated from the waste. Going by the early understanding, the Kerala State Electricity Board will buy power from it. The details of the power purchase agreement would be worked out later, he said.
At the same time, it is not clear whether the local bodies will have to pay user fees for processing the waste generated by them at the new plant. Currently, the Kochi Corporation is levying a fee from the neighbouring local bodies for treating the refuse, he said.