Millennium Post

Rajghat power house to be converted into waste-to-energy plant

The Delhi government has revived the proposal to convert the Rajghat power plant, shut since last year for being a major source of Delhi’s air pollution, into a waste-to-energy plant.

The proposal received the consent of the three BJP-run municipal bodies during the second meeting of the inter-ministerial task force on air pollution and solid waste management here on Wednesday.

If things go as per plan, the proposed waste-to-energy plant will have the capacity to process 4,000 MTD (Metric Tonnes Daily) of solid waste. Delhi produces around 10,000 MTD, Power Minister Satyendar Jain told reporters here.

“The current processing capacity of waste in the city is around 5,000 MTD. Around 50 per cent of the waste is not being processed. Converting the shut plant into waste-to-energy seems to be a solution,” Jain said.

Currently, two such plants in Ghazipur and Okhla produces around 12 and 16 MW of electricity respectively. Another 1,550 MTD capacity plant in Bawana is stuck due to disagreement in revenue sharing between the North MCD and the private contractor.

Such processing plants have also been opposed by environmentalists and local residents for “affecting” health.

As per Solid Waste Management Rules, they also have to be located at least six km from residential colonies.

“The only viable option is converting the Rajghat power plant to waste-to-energy plant as the location is ideal. The three MCDs have agreed and it will be able to process 4,000 tonne of waste daily,” Jain said. 

“I was surprised to know that around 1,000 tonne of cow dung is produced daily in the city. The city has around 1 lakh cows. Right now there are no facilities to process it and the slush which is around 600 tonne,” Jain said.

The government is also considering to process 3000 tonne of waste produced by the markets around the city “on spot”, Jain said, adding that the same could be done in hotels and large housing societies as well.

Jain said processing of waste was the government’s “medium-term” goal towards tackling air pollution.

The National Highways Authority of India has agreed to use waste from Ghazipur landfill site but the Delhi government’s PWD department has no such plan, he said.

“There will soon be an app which will enable people to track the MCD employees of their areas and hold them accountable. There will be provisions to upload images of uncollected waste as well,” Jain said.

The existing capacity of Delhi’s all three landfill sites stands at 4,660 MTD. All these are operating beyond their saturation point, the Economic Survey report by the Delhi government had said last year. 
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