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Waste to Energy Furnaces Under Scrutiny

Written By krishna on Tuesday, April 05, 2011 | 11:25 AM

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The infrastructure arm of Jindal SAW Ltd., Jindal ITF is a part of the O.P. Jindal Group (4th largest business house in India). It claims to have leadership positions in steel, mining, power, energy, infrastructure, water, wastewater, solid waste management and waste to energy.

Jindal SAW Ltd. is the flagship company of the Rs. 30,000 crores O.P. Jindal Group. Jindal SAW Ltd. has recently launched its Jindal ITF (Infrastructure, Transportation, and Fabrication) subsidiary.

Jindal ITF is the infrastructure arm of Jindal SAW which owns and operates businesses in three segments of the Indian economy - Infrastructure, Transportation, and Fabrication.

Water, Waste Water and Solid Waste Management
Domestic Transport & Logistics
Transportation Equipment Fabrication

Within these three areas, Jindal ITF is developing five businesses.

JITF Ecopolis was set up with the key objective of addressing the urban waste management problem.

It is claimed that JITF Ecopolis is all set to commission India's first commercial Waste-to-Energy plant in New Delhi and will be the largest-of-its-kind operational in Asia. It claims that in a short span of two years of operations, JITF Ecopolis has been recognized for its efforts.

It is claimed that Jindal Ecopolis is primarily focused on solving urban waste management problems. In spring 2008, it won the bid for India’s first commercial waste-to-power plant, at Timarpur, Delhi.

Its website reads: Developed under a concession arrangement with New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Rs. 200 crore Timarpur plant is slated to start operations in early 2011 and will convert approximately one third of the daily municipal solid waste produced by New Delhi into 16 megawatts of power. Jindal Ecopolis is actively bidding for numerous other projects across India.

Strangely, there is no reference to Okhla's waste to energy incinerator which facing the bitter opposition of residents, wastepickers and environmental groups like TWA since the time it was proposed as Timarpur-Okhla Municipal Solid Waste Management Project which was registered with UNFCCC for earning carbon credits. The Project Model is based on BOOT (Build Own Operate and Transfer) wherein NDMC and MCD was to provide the waste free of cost to bring electricity to more than 600,000 homes in Delhi.

Notably, the Jindal Infrastructure Ltd, JITF Urban Infrastructure Ltd and JITF Ecopolis is being used interchangeably. JITF Urban Infrastructure was set up with the key objective of addressing the urban waste management problem. It is claimed that JITF Ecopolis is all set to commission India’s first commercial Waste-to-Energy plant in New Delhi.

In a short span of two years of operations, JITF Ecopolis has been recognized for its efforts and won accolades. It has ambitious expansion plans and is actively bidding for other similar projects.

There is something amiss. It requires proper investigation to get to the bottom of all the machinations that are being undertaken just for the subsidy of Rs 2 crore/MW being offered by Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy for setting up these Dioxins emitting furnaces.

It is noteworthy that the controversial waste to energy incinerator/furnace is a legacy of Rakesh Mehta, the chief secretary of Delhi till 4th April, 2011. As Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), it was he who signed the MoU for such hazardous plants ignoring the protests from environmental groups in March 2005 by distorting Delhi's waste management by starting of "Public­ Private Partnerships in garbage management".

As Principal Secretary (Power), Delhi Government he ensured favorable treatment for the waste to energy incinerators. Mehta became the Chief Secretary on 30 November, 2007 providing maximum patronage to these municipal waste incinerators. At a Round Table in India International Centre, he had said, "waste is a sign of progress" while reacting to a wise observation: waste to energy projects give a negative message to society because it promotes waste maximisation.
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