Kochi

Collector to oversee work on waste-to-energy plant

The District Collector has been entrusted with the task of monitoring the setting up of the proposed waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the State-level advisory committee for monitoring the implementation of solid waste management projects, especially waste-to-energy projects, in the State.

Earlier, the State government and the Kochi Corporation had decided to set up the plant on the Brahmapuram campus. The project had run into controversy, with the State-level monitoring committee on the Kerala Paddy and Wetland Act denying permission for utilising the 15.78-acre paddy field identified for setting up the plant.

The panel had listed the possible ecological imbalances the reclamation of the paddy field, which was part of the Chellipadam paddy field of Puthenkurishu village of Ernakulam, could cause.

However, the government bypassed the objections raised by the committee by way of an ordinance, which empowered it to exempt projects, which were of public importance, from the purview of the Act. Invoking the provisions of the ordinance, the government exempted the proposed site from the ambit of the Act and paved the way for its reclamation.

The advisory committee meeting also “decided to initiate necessary further proceedings to measure, demarcate and hand over the land at Brahmapuram to GJ Eco Power Private limited for enabling it to proceed with the setting up” of the plant, said a Government Order.

The responsibility to monitor the project was assigned to the District Collector in view of the “need to coordinate the project requirements using the powers of the Revenue Department and that of the District Magistrate.” The District Collector will monitor the project till its completion, the order said.

The officers in charge of implementing the project will refer the issues of implementation to the District Collector. On his part, the Collector will report the progress of the project on a fortnightly basis to the government and the Local Self Government Department, the order said.

Responding to the developments, Mayor Soumini Jain said that the government move was aimed at clearing all possible hurdles that could come in the way of implementing the project. The District Collector is expected to ensure better coordination between various agencies involved in the implementation of the project, she added.

Ms. Jain said that there would not be any change in the holding that was identified for the project. The plant will be set up at the holding that was identified and earmarked earlier for it. The ownership of the land will remain with the government, she added.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 12:57:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/collector-to-oversee-work-on-waste-to-energy-plant/article22829616.ece

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