A few years ago, the city Corporation set up biogas plants in different parts of the city as part of its various initiatives for decentralised waste management.
However, most of them fell into disuse before long, owing to issues ranging from tiffs with the agencies running the plants to technical problems, which turned many of the biogas plants, like the one in Palayam market, to a dumping yard for waste.
Now, the local body is planning to upgrade most of these plants and set up new ones as part of a bigger push towards decentralised waste management. The plan for upgrading biogas plants was part of the Corporation’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) for solid waste management, which the State-level Empowered Committee (SLEC) rejected last week.
The Corporation is now planning to resubmit the same DPR, after Tourism Minister Kadakmpally Surendran as well as Mayor V.K. Prashanth came out strongly against the committee’s decision to reject the DPR. “Most of our existing biogas plants are down and out, especially the ones in Palayam market, Sreekandeswaram and Peroorkada. The ones in Sreekaryam and Manacaud are working. There is an urgent need to upgrade the technology.
The current ones have major issues, especially when heterogeneous waste is fed to it. We are planning a shift to dry anaerobic technology, which does not need additional water to process. It also enables live monitoring of the plant,” said an official in the Corporation’s health wing.
In addition to upgrading the existing plants, there are also plans to set up new biogas plants in Kazhakoottam, Chanthavila, Kattayikkonam, Nettayam, Thirumala, Poojappura, Punnakkamugal, Vettukad, Kadakampally and Pettah. Batches of aerobic bins will be set up in all the 100 wards. A plastic waste recycling plant is also planned.
The DPR proposes decentralised waste management projects to the tune of Rs. 52 crore. The unexpected rejection of the report by the SLEC came as a huge blow to the local body. “It won’t be easy to set up centralised waste management plants like the one in Vilappilsala within the district limits. Wherever the final location will be, local opposition could be expected. We are not against centralised waste management. The State needs to support the Corporation’s decentralised waste management initiatives. We have identified locations for the new biogas plants and aerobic bins,” the Corporation official said.
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