The committee had asked for automation of the process of feeding garbage into the machine, changes in the ‘hopper’ arm which feeds garbage to ensure that the garbage fell in the middle of the primary chamber

The mobile incinerator that was brought to the capital city has been lying idle since November 29, caught in a bureaucratic who-blinks-first tussle between the Suchitwa Mission, SIDCO and the company that sold SIDCO the incinerator.

On these days, no diesel was reportedly supplied to the machine by the Suchitwa Mission which is tasked with reaching fuel to keep the incinerator going. With the one-month trial run period coming to an end, the Mission has taken the stand that it would take charge of the incinerator only after SIDCO arranges for the structural changes in the machine as suggested by the technical committee that recently evaluated its functioning. The Mission is of the view that these modifications are vital for the optimal functioning of the incinerator.

Among other things, the committee had asked for automation of the process of feeding garbage into the machine, changes in the ‘hopper’ arm which feeds garbage to ensure that the garbage fell in the middle of the primary chamber and for raising the height of the chimney to 12 feet.

Chintan Sales which gave the machine to SIDCO has, however, replied to the government that it has supplied the machine as per the specifications given to it. The company’s letter dated November 29, 2012 points out that the rectifications noted by the technical committee cannot be accepted as a defect in the machine as these specifications were not there in either the global tender document or in the work order issued by the government. Any modifications that are backed up with proper engineering drawings can be executed at the government’s cost, the letter notes.

In another letter, the company has pointed out to the government that ever since November 14, 2012, when the Suchitwa Mission took over the supply of diesel, there has been no timely supply of fuel to keep the machine going. There is also no system to remove the ash waste and waste water or a mechanism for coordinated supply of waste from the different corporation wards. The Suchitwa Mission has also not yet reimbursed the money the company spent for purchase of diesel for the first ten days of the incinerator’s operations, the letter says.

The company has also reportedly pointed out to SIDCO and to the government that it cannot, as per existing transport norms, raise the height of the incinerator’s chimney from the present 10 meters. SIDCO has issued a ‘revised work order’ to the company asking it to take over the operation and maintenance of the incinerator for two years. Urban affairs minister Manjalamkuzhy Ali is scheduled to chair a meeting of officials on Monday.