Most waste-to-energy plants idle as BBMP drags its feet

Most waste-to-energy plants idle as BBMP drags its feet

Only 3 of 13 plants running as Palike delays work orders


The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had recently ordered the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to take up the biomining of quarries filled with waste. But out of the 13 biomethanisation plants, only three are operational as the civic body is dragging its feet over issuing a work order. 

Biomining involves processing waste to produce energy. 

In 2016, the BBMP had set up 13 biomethanisation plants to reduce the city's garbage problem. The contracts had been awarded to Mailhem Engineers for three plants and to Ashoka Biogreen for 10 plants. 

The plants were working well for two years, but the BBMP neither renewed the work orders nor retendered 11 plants after the which the contractors stopped operating them. 

Gautham, Bengaluru-in-charge of Mailhem Engineers Pvt Ltd, which was managing three plants in Mathikere, Kuvempunagar and Gandhinagar wards, told DH: "As of now, we are only operating the Kuvempunagar plant and for the other two plants, we have been repeatedly approaching the BBMP to issue the work orders that expired in March 2018. But they have not responded so far." 

He continued: "There is also a payment issue from the BBMP. We have written many letters with regard to payments. If the civic body issues the work order and pays the dues, we are ready to operate the plants." 

The biomethanisation plants would convert biodegradable waste into energy and can process five tonnes of wet waste a day, according to the contractors. The energy generated by these plants was used to power up street lights in the area. 

Additional Commissioner (Administration) BBMP, D Randeep, told this newspaper: "Most of the biomethanisation plants are not functional in the city except the three. Since these plants have only 60-70% capacity, we are doing a stock-taking exercise to enhance the capacity and utilisation of these plants." 

"I will hold a meeting with officials and managers of the plants to tell them that maximum efforts should go towards sending the waste to the compost and biomethanisation plants," he added. 

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