Vishwas Jape, senior advisor to the World Bank, has raised objections to the ‘waste-to-energy’ plant planned by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) at its Moshi garbage depot. He has laid emphasis on the use of unsegregated waste, which, according to him, can generate energy and save crores for the PCMC.
However, the civic body has said the project was being implemented after taking all relevant aspects into consideration.
In a letter sent to PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, Jape, a resident of Pimpri-Chinchwad, wrote, “I have experience in ‘waste-to-energy’ projects… after working for World Bank in various parts of the world for the last 15 years. I have also provided my services to the Maharashtra government, the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, as well as the PCMC. I believe that the PCMC is moving too fast for such a massive project…”.
Jape claimed that the PCMC has not prepared any feasibility report on the ‘waste-to-energy’ project. “How are they asking for results from the bidders, when they themselves don’t know it… without a feasibility report, it does not make sense to go ahead with the project.”
“The PCMC consultant, panelled by the Ministry of Urban Development, government of India, has prepared bids with reference to the ministry’s notifications… segregation is suggested as one of the methods for treating the waste. However, the ministry allows other methodology also, like unsegregated waste, which is in concurrence with the norms of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board,” wrote Jape.
Jape stated that the ministry also recommends processing unsegregated waste, a process followed throughout the world, and one capable of generating more power. “… Why should we spend money and waste time on segregation,” he said, claiming that the method would save crores for the PCMC.
In the letter, Jape wrote that while segregated waste would hardly generate 2 megawatt of energy, unsegregated waste could generate about 15 MW of energy.
He claimed that as of today, the PCMC was not even sure about who will pay the MSEDCL for transmission charges and wheeling charges.
Speaking to Pune Newsline, Jape said he had already raised objections with the PCMC commissioner during an earlier meeting.
“Since I am a resident of Pimpri-Chinchwad, I want to raise my voice against the flaws in the project. It is a project which, if implemented properly, could save crores of rupees for the PCMC and generate more
energy than envisaged currently,” he said.
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar is on a foreign tour.
Responding to Jape’s claims, PCMC Standing Committee chairperson Seema Savale said, “The PCMC has prepared the feasibility report and held a pre-conference meeting before floating the tenders… a pre-bid meeting was also held.”
Savale said there was no question of segregating the waste. “Only the e-waste will be segregated, otherwise we will use the entire
waste together,” she said.
The ‘waste-to-energy’ project had earlier been opposed by Shiv Sena’s Shirur MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil.