Bureaucratic red tape mars waste-to-energy project at Achan
Srinagar, Nov 20: Four years on, installation of ecofriendly
waste-to-energy plant at Achan has been stuck in the bureaucratic red tape.
An official of
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) said Housing and Urban Development
Department, Power Development Department and Centec Bio Energy Private are yet
to sign the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that would have paved the way for
setting up waste-to-energy plant.
“It will take us 18
months to set up waste-to-energy plant once the PPA is signed,” the official
In 2015, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed an
order for setting up of first of its kind, 5MW waste-to-energy plant in
Srinagar. Srinagar Municipal Corporation was made nodal agency to install the
plant. The NGT had also warned of
levying Rs 50,000 fine per day of delay.
“The document is
lying with the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). Since the
Commission has been abolished on October 31, the fate of PPA is not known,”
said Khurshid Sanai, SMC Commissioner, told The Kashmir Monitor,
SERC has the power to finalise tariff for the electricity
which will be generated by waste-to-energy plant.
Sanai said that they are trying hard to complete the paper
work for installing the plant.
private limited is the amalgam of three companies-Highland automobiles private
limited, Keystone Energies LLG and Aspex infra private limited, which has been
given the contract for its installation,” said Nazir Baba, Solid Waste
Management Officer, SMC.
Baba informed that this project is based on Public Private
Partnership (PPP) and the investment will be managed by the assigned company.
“The PPA of
waste-to-energy plant will be signed after SERC finalizes the tariff,” said
Deeraj Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Department.
Gupta said that SERC will be reconstituted and it will take
some time to complete the process.
Environmentalist, Dr AR Yousuf said the waste-to-energy
plant will not only generate 5 MW power but shall make Srinagar garbage free.
“The biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes will be
treated separately. Biodegradable waste will be then converted into compost
which will be used as fertilizer while non-biodegradable waste will
scientifically get disposed of,” he added.
The plant is to be installed in Srinagar’s land fill site,
Achan which is spread over 540 kanals of land. Official data of SMC reveals
that the Srinagar city – with a population of 1.4 million – produces between
380 metric tons to 450 metric tons of solid waste every day. About 60 per cent
of this is dumped at Achan, a dump yard on the outskirts of Srinagar and 40%
includes the debris of the construction material which is used for leveling of