Existing dump yards have been used to the optimum

Officials of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation are back to square one with the closure of Pathapadu dumping yard.

Residents of Ajithsingh Nagar and surrounding localities have served an ultimatum on the officials saying they would intensify the agitation if garbage is dumped in Excel plant after December 31.

The VMC is left with no option but to heed to their ultimatum, at least temporarily. It has no land at its disposal to manage municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the city, as the existing yards have all been used to the optimum.

The city generates nearly 550 tonnes of MSW every day. Nearly 250 tonnes of it is being dumped at Pathapadu and the remaining at Shri Ram Energy Systems for power generation. Residents of Ajitsingh Nagar had a whiff of fresh air for a brief period when the dumping at Shriram Energy Systems, a non-functional waste-to-energy plant, was stopped. The problem surfaced again with the VMC dumping the waste at Excel plant, a waste-to-compost plant, which is closed down now.

The VMC is having a tough time finding alternatives, particularly after the Pathapadu villagers opposed dumping in their village limits tooth and nail.

The VMC, till sometime ago, dumped garbage at Pathapadu village near here. It spent nearly Rs. 4 crore, including Rs. 1.5 crore for infrastructure and pits for scientific disposal.

It has become a Herculean task for the VMC to acquire land for scientific dumping of MSW. Though proposals were made for development of 100 acres into a scientific garbage dumpyard at Nunna, the proposals remained on paper for various reasons, including stiff opposition from farmers and the Forest Department.

The VMC requires more than 700 acres of land for its projects, including a dumping yard.

Though VMC higher-ups stated that 200 acres of land would be acquired at Adivinekkalam shortly, the lower rung officials are sceptical about the acquisition and feasibility of the proposal. The operation and maintenance, provisions of various Forest Acts, creation of infrastructure, and other such problems are being seen as obstacles.

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