Delhi is set to get new biomedical waste treatment facilities as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) floated tenders for them. The DPCC has recently invited bids to set up two new common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTF) on a build, own and operate (BOO) model.
The committee called for bids in March this year and subsequently cancelled it due to administrative reasons, since there were few bids, according to a senior government official. One of the proposed plants will cover the west, southwest and central districts of Delhi, the other the east, northeast and Shahdara districts.
Delhi currently has two common biomedical waste treatment facilities and they have a combined operational capacity of 62 metric tonnes per day, the official said. The plant at Nilothi has an installed capacity of 28.8 tonnes per day, while the other at the SII Industrial Area 34 tonnes per day. The one at Nilothi collects and processes waste from the west, southwest, central, east, Shahdara and northeast districts of Delhi, and the other covers the north, northwest, south, southeast and New Delhi areas. One of the existing facilities is running on an extension of its contract which expired in 2020, according to the tender document issued for the new plants.
In May 2021, an average of 18.79 tonnes per day of just Covid-related biomedical waste was being generated in Delhi, as per a report from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In June, this figure fell to 7.68 tonnes per day. In December last year, before the second wave hit, a total of 321.32 tonnes of Covid-related biomedical waste was generated for the entire month, which would amount to an average of around 10.36 tonnes per day. A CPCB report for 2019 says that Delhi was generating a total of 28.8 tonnes of biomedical waste per day in pre-pandemic times.
The total biomedical waste generation in Delhi is likely to hit 80,000 kg per day (around 80 tonnes) by 2031, according to the tender document. This projection was arrived at by estimating an increase in the number of beds at healthcare facilities. The capacity for the proposed facility that will cover the eastern districts would tentatively be around 14 tonnes per day, the other 32 tonnes per day. To set up the plant, the bidder would need to have land of 0.5 acres or more in an approved industrial area.