BMC's Waste-to-Energy Project Remains on Paper
The ambitious waste-to-energy project of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the Indian state of Maharashtra has been halted due to the requirement of a No Objection Certificate from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Surprisingly, the proposal was approved by the central government in less than a month.
According to a BMC official, "The Environment Clearance (EC) for it from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change came in December 2021. After that BMC approached MPCB but we are still waiting for a NOC from the agency. We can’t move ahead till we get the NOC. BMC officials held a meeting with MPCB officials in the first week of May 2022 regarding this."
Civic activist Anil Galgali said, “MPCB should decide on a war footing for such a project. If the project is delayed its cost will increase. Everyone knows waste disposal is one of the biggest challenges for the city, but still, the BMC is not getting a NOC. This is very serious.”
MPCB chairman Abasaheb Jharad did not respond to calls and messages. “We are hoping the NOC will be received early,” said Minesh Pimple, deputy chief engineer, Solid Waste Management Department.
“We have asked the contractor to take guidance from an IIT-Bombay expert to develop the project site and basic work has started. We are waiting for the NOC for the construction of the plant. It will take 40 months to complete. Every day 600 metric tons of waste will be treated and 4 megawatts of electricity will be generated,” said a BMC official.
After a major fire in 2015 at the Deonar dumping ground, the Central government and the Bombay High Court had ordered the BMC to come up with a scientific plan for waste disposal. The Deonar dumping ground was established in 1927 and is spread across 120 hectares. Out of about 5,800 metric tons of garbage generated daily in Mumbai, nearly 600 metric tons are dumped in Deonar. Besides Deonar, BMC only has the Kanjurmarg processing centre,” said another civic official.
“The BMC has also set aside Rs 12.40 crore for an environmental management plan to implement mitigation measures. The BMC has a plan to use 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,” another official said.