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18 Civic Bodies Flout Regulation to Set up Bio-Methane Plants

Published: 14th March 2016 05:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2016 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Within a week after the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) threatened to penalise Pallavaram municipality commissioner for violating norms in construction of bio-methanation plant, it is now revealed that 3 corporations and 14 other municipalities have also carried out projects blatantly flouting the rules.

Information accessed through RTI reveals that 3 corporations - Tiruchy, Tirupur and Tirunelveli - do not have consent to establish (CTE) the bio-methanation plants. In fact, the corporations have not even applied for the consent from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

In the RTI reply, the office of Tiruchy District Environment Engineer, TNPCB, said that no consent has been issued in Trichy Corporation for bio-methanation plants. At the same time, Trichy Corporation in its reply said that tenders for the project were floated on December 3, 2013 and currently electrical works and painting works are under progress.

Activist Mohammed Salihu, who gathered the information through an RTI, told Express that as per norms, “It is mandatory for corporations and municipalities to obtain CTEs from TNPCB under Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 as amended and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 as amended prior to commencement of work on bio-methanation plants. However, they have not done so despite the projects nearing completion. Erode Corporation has got the Consent to Operate (CTO) directly and there is no information on Salem corporation’s project”.

In a hearing last week, the green bench has threatened to recover the costs from Pallavaram municipality commissioner’s salary for dereliction of duty. According to the RTI response, 15 municipalities - Hosur, Kancheepuram, Thanjavur, Dindigul, Rajapalayam, Nagarcoil, Kumbakonam, Poonamallee, Avadi, Cuddalore, Pallavaram, Tiruvannamalai, Karur, Thiruthani, and Mettupalayam - have not even applied for CTE.

Rajapalayam and Thanjavur municipality have in fact completed the work. Most of the projects are being carried out by Pune-based contractor Mailhem.

The State government, in 2013, envisaged the setting-up of bio-methanation plants in five corporations and 24 municipalities at `27 crore. The innovative idea was to convert bulk organic waste from hotels, market, slaughter houses and marriage halls into electricity supply to power streetlights, besides making the environment clean. For instance, 250 to 300 cubic metre of bio-gas would be generated in a five metric tonne plant per day.

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