After planning to give up the garbage processing plant for which a study tour to Germany, Austria and Italy was made in 2006, the Municipal Corporation is likely to undertake another tour to ‘study’ the feasibility of waste to energy power plants.
The committee that was constituted to decide on the garbage issue in Chandigarh met Tuesday after seven companies came forward in the Expression of Interest called by the civic body. The civic body has now decided to shut the existing plant in Dadumajra and have a plant that will convert the entire waste of the city into energy.
Committee member Sat Prakash Aggarwal said they will hold another meeting to decide on the places to visit to study the plant procedure. “The places have not been decided yet. But before having such a big project, it is imperative for us to see such plants put up elsewhere. Although a similar plant is there in Noida, UP, we are also looking for the best ones which are set up in foreign countries where we can go and see once.”
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Aggarwal added that they aimed at getting “the world’s best plant for Chandigarh.” By next meeting, a list of foreign countries that have such plants would be placed before the committee to decide on the matter.
Congress councillor Subhash Chawla pointed out that already foreign trips to Germany, Austria and Italy were made in the past for a plant that they have decided to shut down. “ First they should see the presentations of the companies that have come forward and only then they should decide,” said Chawla.
Another member of the committee, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said that the waste-to-energy project would be beneficial for the city as it will produce 4 megawatts of electricity. Also, the land required for the setting up of plant is less.
“The existing garbage plant is on a plot of nearly 10 acres while for such a power plant we just need 2.5 acres. So we will be able to save some land also that can be used for other purposes,” said Bahga adding that 100 tonnes will generate one megawatt of electricity. Around 400 tonnes of garbage would be converted on daily basis.
The committee also discussed on the list of ten consultancies that has been provided by the Government of India after all verifications.
“As such plants are set up at cost between Rs 300 and 700 crore and MC cannot afford this much, we have decided that we will provide land to the company which may set up the plant at its own cost and then they can generate income by selling electricity for Rs 7.90 per unit,” added the nominated councillor.
Former chairperson of the sanitation committee, Chandramukhi Sharma, said, “We are now at the same place where we were ten years ago. Also, there is no need to go abroad to see their plants. There is a huge difference in the garbage composition- the moisture etc of foreign countries and that of India. And during my time also, I had mentioned that councillors have no technical knowledge so what is the use of a study tour.”