Demand for biogas plants grows,PMC wary

Fear that the poor performance of the plants will put the initiative on the back foot.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune | Published: October 18, 2013 1:31:48 am

Corporators’ demand for biogas plants in their electoral panels has become a cause for concern for the PMC,who fear that the poor performance of the plants will put the initiative on the back foot.

The civic administration’s solution to decentralise waste management by setting up small capacity biogas plant at various locations in the city was earlier opposed by corporators. However,the successful commissioning of 12 plants has earned the civic body appreciation from across the country.

Several state government departments and civic bodies of the country have been visiting the city to study the PMC’s initiative and replicate it in their cities and state.

Following the successful implementation,many corporators demanded that biogas plants be set up in their areas. The administration later installed 15 plants. “Corporators’ demand has been on the rise. There are sufficient number of biogas plants in the city. Increasing the number will have an adverse impact on the initiative. Thus,we haven’t accepted their demand and are cautious before permitting the installation of another plant,” said Pramod Yadav,Deputy Municipal Commissioner.

The biogas plant is able to manage food waste generated at hotels and restaurants. He added that solid waste was able to decompose and generate gas for electricity,while any other waste would affect the performance of the plant.

“We fear that corporators will get biogas plants installed in their electoral panels and later ignore it. It needs to be monitored constantly by ensuring that there is sufficient waste for the plant every day,” said a civic officer.

Also,the PMC administration found that food waste from hotels and restaurants is 90 tonnes a day,while the total capacity of all biogas plants is around 150 tonnes. “There is no point in increasing the number of plants as the new ones will remain unused or improperly managed. The failure will have an adverse impact in the overall performance of the initiative of biogas plants,” he said,adding that household food waste cannot be disposed at biogas plants as they are of mixed nature.

The administration also fears that small capacity plants will increase the expenditure of the civic body as there will be a greater demand for manpower. “We will now focus only on biogas plants with a capacity 100 tonnes,as it will reduce the cost on manpower and transport,” a civic officer said.

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