KOCHI: Kochi corporation secretary informed the High Court on Tuesday that the civic body is scouting for a new company for the operation and maintenance of the Windrow compost plant at Brahmapuram, as the work of Star Construction, which was awarded the previous tender, was found to be unsatisfactory.
“Corporation has issued a new tender for the operation and maintenance of the Windrow compost plant. As per the agreement, the two-year contract can be terminated after a year if the work is not satisfactory. The quality of work is not satisfactory and I have decided to discontinue the contract after the completion of one year. On March 2, I have given my dissent note. The council is yet to approve my decision,” M Babu Abdul Khadeer, corporation secretary said in the court.
Meanwhile, the court directed the government to consider whether the project implemented by Kodaikanal for plastic bottle collection can be implemented in the state. The Bench responded positively to the secretary’s statement that he has discussed with the government about Asia’s biggest bio-methanation plant at the Indore Municipal Corporation. The plant is funded by the Union government from commonwealth funds and the corporation need not spend a single rupee.
During the hearing, the HC criticized the corporation for signing an agreement with the waste treatment contractor at Brahmapuram without incorporating the clause that fixed civil and criminal liability of the contractors for any omissions and commissions on the part of the operators, and without obtaining the clearance of the pollution control board.
The Division Bench, headed by Justice S V Bhatti, opined that even the agreement for purchasing a plot of land could have been drafted in a better way than what the corporation did. The court said that most of the officers had to maintain reticence due to the money power involved on the other side, while the private operator, who has no statutory obligation, makes a maximum profit and walks out of the place. The court also asked the corporation secretary to produce the file related to the tender evaluation and the technical qualifications set up by the corporation.
Furthermore, the court directed the corporation secretary to concentrate on segregation at source and sought details such as the total expenditure incurred by the corporation for the plant in the last five years, the amount received from other municipalities, and the volume of wastes dumped.