The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has come down heavily on the City Corporation regarding the operation of the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant. The CAG report on local self-government for the year ended March 2011 submitted in the Assembly on Wednesday flayed the Corporation for not taking action against the private agency M/s Poabs Envirotech Private Limited for establishing a plant of a capacity of 156 metric tonnes, much less than the specified 300 metric tonnes.
“There was no clause relating to the compensation to be paid to the operator in case they discontinue the operation. The Corporation took over the plant in March 2009 after paying Rs 7.48 crore to the operator who was unsuccessful in running the plant. Owing to the deficiencies in the plant, Rs 9.56 crore was estimated to be required to upgrade the facility,” the CAG report said.
The report flayed the Corporation for not including a definite clause regarding establishment of a leachate treatment plant and sanitary land filling. “It is a lapse from the part of the Corporation,” the report said.
The report said that the plant was operated without licence from the Pollution Control Board and Vilapplil grama panchayat. “The operator did not comply with the requirement to treat the leachate. Consequently, the leachate from the garbage and storm water runoff from the plant, collected unscientifically in temporary ponds, was allowed to flow to nearby water bodies causing health problems to the local people,’’ the CAG report stated.
The operator did not establish a sanitary landfilling, resulting in the piling up of remnant in an area of 2.5 acres with an average height of about nine metres over a period of seven years, it added.
The CAG report also criticised the Corporation for defects in collection, segregation and transportation of waste. The Corporation had entrusted Kudumbashree with the task of collecting waste from only 71 wards in the city. There was no arrangement for collecting waste from the remaining 29 wards, the report said. It also added that waste was not properly segregated, creating environment problems. Also, there were enormous delays in transportation of the waste, leading to decomposition of waste in closed containers and consequent bad odour emission throughout transportation, in addition to forming of leachate, it added.