To call for expression of interest for the waste to energy project soon

The Tiruchi Corporation has decided to install a bio-digester at the Gandhi Market, one of the biggest markets in the State, to produce energy from organic solid waste.

The civic body would soon invite expression of interest for the pilot project to be taken up Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model. A preliminary clearance for the project was obtained from the Corporation Council at its recent meeting. A suitable agency with necessary experience is to be identified to design, operate and maintain it for three years before handing it over to the Corporation.

The Gandhi Market generates about 40 tonnes of organic solid waste every day, including vegetable, fruit and meat wastes. Currently, the garbage is being transported on a daily basis to the Corporation garbage dump. With the market functioning round-the-clock, garbage removal and transport present a major task to the civic authorities. Corporation garbage trucks make several trips a day to Ariyamangalam transporting the solid wastes. Yet, uncollected garbage could be seen dumped all around the market, especially along the Thanjavur Road.

In an attempt to overcome the problem, the Corporation has hit upon the idea of going in for a bio-digester which would generate bio-gas as the concept is said to be successfully implemented in some parts of the country. “We are exploring the technology options available and looking for some private investment to make it a successful project. We are confident of attracting quite a few proposals,” Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani told The Hindu on Friday.

Corporation authorities plan to go in for the project on a smaller scale to start with on an experimental basis. The project could be scaled up at a later stage, depending on the results of the pilot project. “Initially, about five to 10 tonnes of organic solid wastes could be processed,” a Corporation engineer said.

The civic body would provide the space for installing the bio-digester at the market premises and assured supply of organic waste to the private agency. The energy produced could be possibly used for public lighting at the Gandhi Market under a buy-back arrangement with the private agency installing the bio-digester. The business model is, however, yet to be worked out. According to sources, the Corporation would soon approach the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration with the proposal for clearance to take up the project with private participation.