Khaleej Times

Turning Chennai waste into energy

- C P Surendran

new delhi — One of the biggest issues plaguing the big cities of India is the piling up of rubbish and waste much, much faster than these can be recycled.

In Mumbai, much of the waste is used as landfills over which malls and office towers are built. Neverthele­ss, the waste piles up in place like Deonar in Chembur, for example, four to five-storey high.

Chennai is even more in trouble regarding waste. It is not clear why, because recycling technologi­es are available. In place like Sweden for example recycling plants are so efficient, they are half the time waiting for rubbish to arrive.

Unlike Mumbai, Chennai has now decided to tackle waste on a war-footing. Last week, the Greater Chennai Corporatio­n finalised a Rs14.4 billion project to recycle waste to energy. The project would essentiall­y tackle the mounting waste at the 270-acre site at Kodungaiyu­r and 228-acre site at Perungudi.

Two waste to energy (WTE) plants will be set up in these two places, now nearly uninhabita­ble because of the unseemly sight and unbearable stench. Once the plants start fully functionin­g the conversion of the waste will result in turning these sites into prime land for developmen­t, and the Greater Chennai Corporatio­n stands to gain from it.

The idea to convert the waste to power is not new, but not widely practised in India. Kodungaiyo­ur will generate 32MW and Perungudi will generate 26MW electricit­y. Tenders are scheduled to be floated next week.

The corporatio­n hopes to privatise nearly 70 per cent of the conservanc­y operations through these projects. Of the total outlay of Rs14.4 billion, Rs1.4 billion would go to meet solid waste collection.

The project also means the sites will be no longer open to dumping waste. The firms selected will need to sanitise the landfills for a period of 15 years. All through this period they will be required to isolate and destroy toxic waste from the landfill and conserve the environmen­t. How the waste is converted to energy would be the headache of the selected operating firms.

The WTE plants will meet European emission standards, said a spokespers­on for the Greater Chennai Corporatio­n.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates