Waste disposal solutions being delayed

Local bodies in Ernakulam that failed to ensure scientific waste management have found the proposed waste-to-energy (WTE) plant at Brahmapuram as an excuse for not finding solutions to the vexed issue.

The Kochi Corporation and Aluva, Angamaly, Kalamassery, Thrikkakara and Thripunithura municipalities were pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for not initiating steps as per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The corporation had come under fire for the poor functioning of its solid waste treatment facility at Brahmapuram. The municipalities too were under the lens for depending on the Brahmapuram facility for dumping their biodegradable waste.

Incidentally, the Kochi Corporation quoted a letter issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, Local Self Government Department (LSGD), on January 8, 2020 for not installing source-level waste treatment systems. The government had asked the corporation not to undertake any projects on its own and in parallel to the proposed WTE plant, pointed out the Corporation Secretary in a letter to the Pollution Control Board (PCB) on April 9.

The municipalities have also started falling back on the energy plant whenever its faced with questions on the widening gap in setting up facilities for waste management. However, the LSGD has no clarity yet as to when the WTE plant will turn a reality.

The Kerala State Industrial Corporation had to issue tenders again for the plant in January. The government had asked the corporation to invite fresh tenders for the project after it cancelled the approval granted to a consortium on April 30 last year, maintaining that it had failed to achieve financial closure even after three-and-a-half years of signing the agreement.

The government had proposed the plant on Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer mode for the Ernakulam cluster of local bodies that included the Kochi Corporation and 13 municipalities.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 1:44:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/waste-disposal-solutions-being-delayed/article34546055.ece

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