HEALTH AND PWD Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that it might be a “viable option” to convert the defunct Rajghat thermal power plant into a waste-to-energy plant in order to tackle the shortage of garbage disposal facilities in Delhi.
The Rajghat power plant was shut down last year on account of air pollution it caused.
Leading the second meeting of the three-member ministerial committee set up by the Delhi government to tackle the issues of garbage collection and disposal, Jain said that the MCDs, too, are in agreement with the proposal.
If things go according to plan, Jain said, the proposed waste-to-energy plant will have the capacity to process 4,000 MTD (metric tonnes daily) of solid waste.
Jain added that Delhi produces around 10,000 MTD of solid waste. However, according to some sources, the city produced 12,000 MTD, of which around 2,000 MTD never makes it to landfills.
“The current processing capacity of waste in the city is around 5,000 MTD. Around 50 per cent of the waste is not being processed. Converting the defunct plant into waste-to-energy seems to be a solution,” Jain said. He added that owing to its central location, all three MCDs could make use of it.
The committee is also examining ways to get mandis, housing societies and major hotels to set up disposal plants at the site.
Jain said that Delhi has about 1 lakh cows that produce about 1,000 tonnes of cowdung daily. “This cowdung enters drains, is processed and goes to landfills. We are examining ways in which cowdung can be reused. There is 600 tonnes of sludge that flows into DJB drains,” said Jain.
He said that the the National Highways Authority of India has agreed to use waste from Ghazipur landfill site for construction of roads, but the Delhi government’s PWD department has no such plan, he said.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Imran Hussain also reviewed preparations to tackle burning of garbage, plastic, and rubber and dust control measures at construction sites to control air pollution.