The Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has recommended to the Ministry that clearance could be accorded for the integrated solid waste management project at Kodungaiyur dump yard. The Chennai Corporation, which has proposed the project, is likely to receive the clearance in a few days.

Officials of the Corporation said the 13-member committee has recommended the project, which involves processing of nearly 1,800 tonnes of garbage dumped at Kodungaiyur daily.

A similar facility coming up at the Perungudi dump yard was cleared by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. However, for the project at Kodungaiyur, the clearance was sought from the Union Ministry as the site is located within a radius of 10 km from Manali, which has been declared as a critically polluted area, officials said.

Some of the conditions laid by the committee, while recommending clearance, include monitoring of the groundwater quality, safe disposal of gas generated and treatment of the leachate from the facility. The civic body proposes to treat and send the leachate to the neighbouring sewage pumping station of Chennai Metrowater.

As the committee asked the Corporation to refrain from converting the refuse-derived fuel to energy, the fuel would be sold to cement kilns.After receiving the clearance from the Union Ministry, the proposal would be sent to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for getting clearance for air and water quality. Once that is obtained, work on the project would begin in a month, an official of the Corporation said. The Corporation has awarded the contract for the project to the Bangalore based Terra Firma Private Limited. It will be on a design, build, operate, maintain and transfer basis. The facility would be handed over to the civic body after 20 years. The developer would pay the Corporation a royalty of Rs.41.85 per tonne daily, the official added.

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