Mumbai’s first and upcoming Waste To Energy (WTE) plant at Deonar in Govandi area has received Environment Clearance (EC) from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change . Now, the BMC has approached Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) for its final consent.
The BMC has proposed to build the plant, with 600 metric tonne per day capacity, at the city’s oldest dumping ground on 12.19 hectares area and at a cost of Rs 504 crore. Apart from incineration of waste in the dumping ground, the plant will also generate 4 megawatt electricity. The project got the mandatory EC on December 7. However, its copy was recently uploaded on the BMC website.
Established in 1927, Deonar dumping ground is spread across 120 hectares. Out of about 7,000 metric tonne garbage generated daily in Mumbai, nearly 600 metric tonne is dumped in Deonar.
State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Maharashtra, has approved BMC proposals with certain conditions, such as, use of fly ash generated from the plant for brick manufacturing and road construction, air pollution control measures, and separate funds for implementation of the environment management plan. It has also directed BMC to set up an exclusive Environment Management Cell, a check on ground water level and measures to ensure no ground water pollution takes place.
“We are now awaiting MPCB consent to start work,” said Minesh Pimple, Deputy Chief Engineer, (Projects), Solid Waste Management. The construction of the plant will be completed in about 40 months. The BMC has also set aside Rs 12.40 crore for the environment management plan to implement mitigation measures.
The project has faced opposition from locals and environmentalists who raised concerns about pollution and health issues in the area due to the plant. On April 27, 2021, a public hearing was held for the project as the 2006 Environment Impact Assessment Notification mandates to hold public consultation for draft impact assessment. In the meeting, questions were also raised about the success of such plants. According to a report from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which was published in 2018, the first such plant was established in Timarpur in Delhi in 1987 but it was shut down soon.