Having failed to get a bidder for the waste processing plant at the Deonar dumping ground, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has once again extended the tender deadline till next month.
The civic body has been planning scientific closure of the landfill since 2005. Following the fire at the site, which billowed for weeks in 2016, the BMC had first floated a tender for a waste-to-energy plant. However, in past three years, the civic body has faced challenges like lack of available technology and suitable contractors which created a roadblock. Even after two tenders, reduction in quantity of waste to be processed, four extensions, the situation has not changed much.
“We have given extension, as the prospective bidders had demanded more time. We have no option other than giving them more time, as we want the plant to start soon and successfully,” said Ashok Khaire, deputy municipal commissioner, solid waste management department.
When functional, the plant will process about 600 tonnes of waste, generating 10 mega-watts of energy. A civic official on the condition of anonymity said, “We have been trying to get contractors for over a year now. Only three-four bidders have shown interest in the project. Mulund has been already shut and is not taking any fresh amount of waste. The only option available to us is Deonar.”
The Bombay High Court in April had extended the permission to the BMC to continue dumping of 3,000 metric tonnes of solid waste at Deonar ground till December 31, calling it a last extension. Following major fire incidents ranging for days between January 2015 and March 2016, in February 2016, the High Court had ordered the BMC to close the Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds in suburban Mumbai after observing they had reached their saturation points.
Started in 1927, the Deonar landfill spread over 132 hectares, holds 12 million metric tonnes of waste.
Promised in 2015 by the state government, the BMC has only received 12.14 hectares land out of the 38.85 hectares in Ambernath for the processing of city’s garbage. The remaining 26.71 hectares has over 70 units/encroachments, which have to be rehabilitated before the civic body can tender for a processing plant at the site.