Garbage treatment plant to be upgraded

Special Correspondent

Move to promote homestead-level processing

Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation has finalised a master plan to improve the functioning of the garbage treatment plant at Vilappilsala and minimise the pollution problems. A pilot project to promote homestead-level garbage processing will also be launched soon, Mayor C. Jayan Babu told presspersons here on Saturday.

The project involves the establishment of a leachate treatment unit, a RDF (refuse-derived fuel) plant and a greenbelt around the premises. Construction of a compound wall, perimeter fencing, borewells and acquisition of more land are other components of the project, estimated at Rs.24.56 crore.

“Efforts are on to set up a biogas plant with technology sourced from the National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology. The plant, with a capacity of 5 tonnes, will be set up as a pilot project with financial assistance from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy,” the Mayor said.

He said the Corporation and the Centre for Environment Development (CED) would seek the support of the residents in the neighbourhood to eradicate the pollution problems caused by the plant. “We have entrusted the Sanitation Mission with a project to study the pollution problems,” he said.

Mr. Babu said the capping of the accumulated garbage inside the premises was expected to be completed by April 2009. “Disposing of the rejects from the treatment plant has been the greatest problem faced by the Vilappil project ever since it was established. The capping project is designed to resolve this vexatious problem. As a temporary measure, the rejects will be shredded and stored as bales in a temporary shed. The District Planning Committee has approved the purchase of a generator, baler and shredder.”

Mr. Babu said efforts were on to green the premises with trees and plants. “An organic vegetable farm and flower garden will also be created. The objective is to showcase the plant as an environment-friendly project.”

Proposals to construct a sanitary landfill and acquire an additional 3.5 acres of land for the project had been cleared.

The Mayor said 1,070 tonnes of organic manure manufactured as a by-product at the plant had been handed over to the Agriculture Department. “Ultimately, we hope to generate enough revenue to meet the day-to-day operational expenses of the plant.”

Mr. Babu said the Corporation had requested the government to provide subsidy for homestead-level vermicomposting. Other measures proposed in the master plan included separate garbage disposal facilities for apartment complexes and a deterrent fine on litterbugs. Efforts were on to equip the Corporation’s fleet of garbage trucks with corrosion-free loading bays.

G.R. Anil, Chairman of the Health standing committee of the Corporation, and Health Officer Sreekumar were present.