Waste-to-energy plants: Local bodies lose out on retendering, says ex-mayor
The state government decision to retender the project to set up waste-to-energy plants in eight districts, including Ernakulam, has kicked up a row.
KOCHI: The state government decision to retender the project to set up waste-to-energy plants in eight districts, including Ernakulam, has kicked up a row. The decision to entrust the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) with the retendering work too has not gone down well with the opposition. KPCC secretary and former Kochi Mayor, Tony Chammany said the local bodies will incur additional expenses for solid waste treatment when the eligibility criteria of the tender allotment is modified while retendering.
“By restructuring the clauses in the former tender notification, the agencies/companies which will be awarded the contract will make huge profits while local bodies will have to shell out almost double their current spending for waste treatment. It is learnt the final modifications are being made in the actual tender as per the request of the companies taking part in the bidding process,” Chammany said. He said, according to the Solid Waste Management Rules (2016), it is the legal responsibility of the respective local bodies to manage waste treatment.
“The government appointing KSIDC, as the implementing agency of the solid waste management project is sheer violation of the Centre’s rule,” the former Mayor said. He alleged KSIDC has appointed the Delhi-based IRG Systems South Asia as a consultant for the project without proper tender proceedings. A government order (GO) was issued on June 11, 2018, in which a high-level committee was constituted with the chief secretary as its chairman. The committee had decided to award the tender for the proposed waste-to-energy plants to the company which quotes the lowest tariff to supply power generated out of the waste to the government, he said.
“KSIDC was brought in as the nodal agency of the project and another meeting convened in September 2018 decided to give KSIDC the right to modify the tender documents according to its discretion. Instead of electricity rates, it was decided to award the tender to the company which quotes lowest rates for transporting one-tonne waste to the plant,” Chammany said.Citing the experiences in many cities, he said that particular model has proved to be a failure. “The agency will not treat or process the waste in the plant, resulting in waste materials piling up at those facilities. “As per the modified tender, companies quote `3,500 per tonne for Kozhikode cluster, `3,550 for Kannur cluster and `3,450 for Kollam cluster. The period of contract is 25 years,” he said.