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Biggest waste-to-energy plant to come up in Gurugram

(01 Apr 2018)

The city is going to get the country’s biggest waste-to-energy plant with a power generation capacity of 25MW, which is being developed as part of the integrated solid waste management plant in Bandhwari.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar is expected to lay the foundation stone for the project around mid-April even as green activists and local residents are worried about its impact on the environment and viability of the model that has not been very successful anywhere else in the country. The greens claimed a decentralised model of segregation and composting was a better way to deal with the city’s thrash.

Officials of Ecogreen Energy Pvt Ltd, the company hired by MCG to implement the integrated solid waste management system, claimed the energy plant coming up on Gurugram-Faridabad road would be bigger than the one (with 24MW capacity) located in Delhi’s Bawana.

“We are ready to start construction of the plant. We expect the chief minister to kick it off sometime in April. The process to get the approval from the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) is also underway,” said Ankit Agarwal, CEO, Ecogreen Energy Pvt Ltd.

Agarwal claimed the MoEF approval was not required for laying the foundation. However, he said they were expecting to receive the ministry nod in a few months. MCG sources said the plant was likely to be operational by the middle of 2019 and process up to 2,500 tonnes of waste daily. Gurugram currently generates around 850-900 tonnes of solid waste while another 600 tonnes come from Faridabad on a daily basis.

The project cost of the full-integrated waste management plant is estimated at Rs 502 crore but Ecogreen officials have not given the details of expenditures to be incurred on account of the energy plant separately.

Recently, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) held a public hearing in Bandhwari as part of an environment impact assessment as mandated by the MoEF.

But local residents and green activists termed the exercise eyewash as only 33 people from one of the five villages affected by the landfills hand turned up for the hearing. Greens have been questioning the logic behind the state government’s move to install a waste-to-energy plant.

“Waste-to-energy plants have not been very successful primarily because they require a very high capital expenditure. Also, there are always possibilities of emissions. And when waste is segregated, its calorific value decreases, which in turn lowers the energy output,” said Shyamala Mani, a professor of National Institute of Urban Affairs and solid waste management expert.

She added even though the government had been making efforts to make these models more viable by providing subsidies and tipping fee, a better way to manage waste would be to segregate and compost it in a decentralised manner.

Meanwhile, work on a leachate treatment plant at Bandhwari is almost complete and it is likely to be functional by next month, said Agarwal. The plant, built at a total cost of Rs 3.5 crore, will treat leachate in five stages.

News Source : Times of India