Commercial establishments in the city are likely to set up their own bio-gas plants for processing their food waste. The Chennai Corporation, at a meeting in Ripon Buildings with representatives of hotels, marriage halls and other commercial food business operators asked the traders to commission decentralised waste processing facility based on a technology of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

The meeting was organised to resolve a deadlock on the issue of conservancy charges in Chennai. At the meeting, Corporation officials indicated that new conservancy charges levied on these establishments, which had been fiercely opposed by them, would be reduced if the traders’ association commissioned their own plants based on such proven technology.

A number of food-business operators, including large hotels and marriage halls, had been asked to pay more conservancy charges by the Chennai Corporation. The city has more than 20,000 commercial entities including large food-business operators and marriage halls that generate large amount of municipal solid waste every day. As the commercial establishments did not agree to the increase in conservancy charges by the Chennai Corporation, a series of meetings were organised over the past few months to resolve the deadlock. Commercial establishments that use 1,100 litre bins for conservancy were asked to pay Rs.1.31 lakh to the Chennai Corporation, according to the new proposal. Similarly, the establishments that use 120 litre bins were asked to pay Rs.14,600. The charges for marriage halls with a seating capacity of more than 1,000 were increased from Rs.12,000 to Rs.86,400 per year.

BARC had already knocked on the doors of the Chennai Corporation to sell its garbage segregation technology and the civic body has suggested that commercial establishments use the indigenously-developed technology.

This initiative may also revive source segregation of garbage and is likely to be yet another option for generating energy using waste. The technology will also facilitate lighting up of streetlights using the energy generated. Around 30 per cent of 4900 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated in the city is biodegradable.

The technology offers a decentralised way of garbage disposal as 300 sq. ft. of land is enough to process one tonne of waste a day.

  • Facilities will be based on BARC technology

  • Relaxation in conservancy charges indicated