- A new waste-to-CNG plant to come up in Kolkata’s Dhapa landfill
- The city produces nearly 1,500 tonnes of wet waste daily
- KMC has sanctioned an amount of Rs 4 crore for the plant
New Delhi: After struggling for years to manage waste in the City of Joy, Kolkata’s civic body has finally laid down and finalised a plan to put the city’s huge cache of organic waste to use. Dhapa, the city’s oldest and largest landfill, which receives nearly 4,500 tonnes of waste daily (out of which 1,500 tonnes are wet waste), will be the site of a brand new compressed natural gas (CNG) plant. Dhapa, was set up way back in 1941 and had expired its capacity in the 1960s. The lone waste treatment plant in the landfill lies dysfunctional since 2014. The landfill’s surroundings are home to nearly 30,000 people, and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is hopeful that setting up of a CNG plant will help in reducing the monumental waste accumulated in the landfill, which has already crossed 50 feet in height.
The total cost of the plant is estimated to be at Rs 4 crore. The KMC has already sanctioned the amount, and will publish tenders for interested construction companies to begin work by the end of this year. The project will begin on a pilot basis, and the first goal identified by KMC engineers is to produce 25 tonnes of CNG from waste. If the pilot is successful, the amount of CNG produced from organic waste will be increased. The KMC has committed to begin construction of the CNG plant by this year. CNG and bio-fertiliser from the plant will be sold at subsidised rates across the city.
Since the waste treatment plant was lying idle, we were planning to set up an alternative that would help us in reducing the waste from the Dhapa landfill. Apart from waste that is dumped here daily, we can also use organic and wet waste from the landfill in manufacturing the CNG plant. Already, a number of companies have shown interest in building the CNG plant and we will start construction soon, said Subhashish Chattopadhyay, Deputy Chief Engineer, Solid Waste Management, Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
West Bengal participated in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 for the first time and performed abysmally, as 25 of the state’s 29 participating cities ranked among India’s dirtiest 50 cities. Though Kolkata did not participate in the survey, the city’s dependence on its sole large landfill has been a problem for the city’s civic body. With rapid urbanisation and no space for construction of new scientific landfills, construction of a CNG manufacturing plant is to be the most potent option for the KMC.
“We are promoting waste segregation and have started aggressively campaigning for segregation in residential societies. Seven wards have begun segregating waste, and for the pilot, wet waste from those wards will be carried directly to the CNG plant for processing. We are trying to achieve 100 per cent segregation in these seven wards so that bulk waste can be carried from these to the CNG plant for processing,” said Mr Chattopadhyay
Recently, the KtMC took several steps to revamp the city’s waste management system to streamline waste collection in Kolkata. KMC garbage collection vehicles now collect waste four times a day instead of the earlier routine of collecting waste thrice a day. The KMC has also formed two to three teams per ward across the city, who informs the civic body about piling up waste in a particular location. On receiving the information, KMC vehicles reach the spot and collect the waste for disposal. With the plan of setting up a CNG plant getting approval, KMC will now look to gradually transform the city’s wet waste into usable CNG and reduce burden on the sole landfill.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.