BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government has initiated steps to prevent jaundice in certain pockets of the Capital, an area on outskirts of the City has been exposed to soil and environmental contamination. The dumping yard at Bhuasuni is a befitting example of unscientific and unhealthy disposal of solid waste.
Though the State Government had allotted 62 acres of land to BMC for dumping waste in 2005 and an additional 12 acres in 2014 for municipal solid waste (MSW) processing facility, the progress of the ambitious ‘Waste-to-Energy’ project has been tardy.
The proposed project would use state-of-the-art HITACHI technology which is capable of reducing 90 per cent of solid waste into energy and the remaining 10 per cent would be used for making bricks. “There would be no sludge to pollute the environment,” said an official of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department.
All said and done, it has been two years since the pact for the mega municipal solid waste treatment plant was inked but the ground work is yet to begin.
“The delay could be attributed to a conflict over power purchase agreement and water supply from Mundali barrage in Cuttack,” a BMC official said on condition of anonymity.
Initially, the private firm had proposed to sell 11.5 MW electricity produced from the plant at Rs 54 crore. Later, the same quantity of power was priced at Rs 254 crore which is commercially not feasible, the official added.
Unless the HUD Department sets up a dedicated team to monitor the project, it would not pick up pace, the sources said.
Around 400 tonnes of waste are generated from the City per day and it takes the route of a temporary transfer station near Sainik School before being dumped at Bhuasuni yard. The waste includes plastic, bio-degradable and construction materials.
The decomposition of bio-degradable material and burning of plastic lead to contamination of surroundings. Stray animals including cattle venture into the dumping yard and feed on the waste which expose them to the risk of severe diseases. There is a constant fear of methane poisoning the precincts, sources said.
While scientific solid waste management is an obligatory component for a ‘Smart City’, how long would it take for Bhubaneswar to have its MSW facility, remains a question.