Private firms may be allotted land at Brahmapuram to treat biowaste

Firms currently involved in collecting and treating city’s waste have plants in other districts.
The premises of Brahmapuram waste treatment plant | Albin Mathew
The premises of Brahmapuram waste treatment plant | Albin Mathew

KOCHI: If all goes to plan, the state government will allot land at Brahmapuram dumpyard to private companies to treat biodegradable waste. The government’s move to rope in more private players comes after the two companies currently involved in collecting waste in Kochi failed to live up to expectations. There are also complaints that they had failed to collect biowaste from houses on a daily basis, which had led to widespread protests.

It is learnt that the Suchitwa Mission, which was entrusted with the task of identifying the firms, had invited tenders from private companies. “At present, two Thiruvananthapuram-based companies – We Care Shopping and Tech Farm India Pvt Ltd – are collecting waste from households and treating it at their facilities. Their waste treatment plants are located in other districts, making it a difficult task given the city’s traffic. The distance to the treatment plants has also severely affected waste collection from all 74 divisions. To avoid this, we are planning to provide land for companies at Brahmapuram. We have invited bids from companies,” a top source associated with the Suchitwa Mission said.

As per information, the companies will get the land on lease until Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (BPCL) proposed waste-to-bio-CNG conversion becomes a reality. “We are looking for two more companies that are capable of treating 100 tonnes of biodegradable waste daily,” sources said. The companies will get only land, and they themselves will have to set up the infrastructure. Since the corporation is providing the land, the companies will have to adjust the rate charged for treating the waste. The government will hold a detailed discussion with the corporation after the bidding closes. “A final plan will be mooted after the discussion,” said the source.

Meanwhile, the source confirmed that the move to provide land at Brahmapuram was the result of fear of public protests against decentralised plants. “Though all face waste management issues, no one is expressing willingness to set up a decentralised plant in the city. The government was forced to call off its move to set up a decentralised plant at Edakochi as an example of this. At present, Brahmapuram is the only place in the city where biodegradable waste can be treated without much worry,” the source added.

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The New Indian Express