Plant likely to come up on Port Trust land at Kundannoor

The city may soon get a modern septage treatment plant if the plans of the Kochi Corporation fructify.

A septage treatment plant would come up at a four-acre land of the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) at Kundannoor within one year.

The CPT has issued a letter to the Kochi Corporation expressing its willingness to hand over the land on long-term lease. The local body would have to pay an annual lease amount of Rs. 1.75 lakh for the land, said T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

The city lacks proper septage treatment facilities. The dumping of septage on the flanks of roads, drains and vacant holdings often leads to violent incidents in city. There has also been widespread protest by residents against the dumping of waste in city areas.

In a recent incident, an irate mob had set fire to a tanker lorry that had brought septage to be drained near the Vallarpadam International Container Terminal Road. Local police had taken a few persons into custody following the incident.

EOI to be invited

The local body plans to establish the treatment facility on a Build-Operate-Transfer mode and an Expression of Interest will be floated for the purpose. The agency that wins the bid will have to pay royalty to the local body for running the plant. Public sector agencies like KITCO may be entrusted with the task of preparing bid documents for the Expression of Interest. The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting of the Steering Committee of the Kochi Corporation, he said.

Several technologies for treating septage are available. The ideal one for the city would be selected from the bids to be submitted by the bidders, Mr. Ashraf said.

According to M. Ashraf, several individual entrepreneurs as well as companies have approached the local body with proposals for setting up treatment facilities in the city. Some of them had offered to set up the plant at their own expense if the local body could provide them land for the units.

Going by the understanding with the CPT, refuses from the ships visiting the Cochin Port will have to be treated at the upcoming plant besides the waste collected from parts of the city.

The local body could charge user fee from the private tankers that bring septage for treatment. A feasibility study carried out by a private agency indicated that nearly 250 tanker lorries would bring refuses for treatment a day if such a treatment facility was set up in the city, he said.

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