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Additional objection against questionable carbon credit/CDM project in Delhi’s Okhla residential and ecologically fragile area

Written By Gopal Krishna on Saturday, June 04, 2016 | 12:50 AM

To

Dr. Subrata Bose,
National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA)
Ministry of Environment and Forests,
Government of India
3rd Floor, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
Prithivi Wing, Jor Bagh
New Delhi – 110003
3rd June, 2016

Subject- Additional objection against questionable carbon credit/CDM project in Delhi’s Okhla residential and ecologically fragile area (Project: waste to energy project of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd)
Dear Dr Bose,
This is with reference to my complaint letter to you dated Attachments30th May, 2016 and a news report in The Pioneer regarding the same (Okhla plant’s carbon credit move appalls many, 3rd June, 2016), the report quotes you.
Kindly allow me to reproduce the relevant text of the news report which reads: Dr Subharta Bose, chairman, NCDMA told The Pioneer that we are examining the report and the procedure will take time. “Although there is no big role of the NCDMA after given the approval to host waste to energy plant but our mechanism is very transparent,” said Dr Bose.
I submit that in view of your comments the certificate of Host Country Approval dated 15th May, 2007 given to the project of The Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd. (TWMCPL), a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) is quite relevant and merits your attention. This approval was given after is consideration by the NCDMA on 30th March, 2007.  It was confirmed based on submissions by the company prior to approval and prior to registration with UNFCCC’s CDM Executive Board that “The project contributes to Sustainable Development in India”. Post registration changes establish beyond any reasonable doubt that the project does not contribute to Sustainable Development and sets a very bad precedent for the country in particular. It puts the communities and the ecosystem of Okhla, Delhi to enormous risk which cannot be deemed acceptable.
I submit that the country approval laid down certain specific conditions which are required to be complied with “during the lifetime of the project”. The approval conditions stated categorically that “This approval is not transferrable. The authority reserves the right to revoke this Host Country Approval if the conditions stipulated in this approval are not complied with to the satisfaction of the National CDM Authority.”
I submit that the conditions stipulated in the approval certificate have not been complied with the project in this question. It must be noted that the approval was given to The Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd. (TWMCPL), a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) but the approval was transferred to Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited. This clearly implies that the conditions have been violated.
Besides this the approval certificate states “The TOWMCL shall obtain all statutory clearances and other approvals as required from the competent authorities for setting up of the project.” It is evident from the Validation opinion for post registration changes provided by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) that the “statutory clearances” which were obtained pre registration were not and has not been obtained post registration.  This also clearly shows that Host Country Approval “conditions stipulated” in the approval have not been complied with. This creates a full proof compelling logic for the National CDM Authority which admittedly has the “right to revoke this Host Country Approval” to revoke the approval granted to this project.
I submit that the truth about this controversial and questionable project is out in public domain. It is just a matter of time before it triumphs as well.   
In view of the above submissions, I am hopeful that your considered intervention will set the matters right and save the public health and ecosystem for the present and future generations. 
 I will be happy top share more information and relevant documents in this regard.
Thanking you
Yours faithfully
Dr Gopal Krishna
Director
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660
E-mail-1715krishna@gmail.com
Web:
www.toxicswatch.org

Cc

Mr. Eduardo Calvo, Chair, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) Secretariat

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

To

Dr. Subrata Bose,
National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Authority
Ministry of Environment and Forests,
Government of India
3rd Floor, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
Prithivi Wing, Jor Bagh
New Delhi – 110003

Date: May 30, 2016 

Subject- Objection against questionable carbon credit/CDM project in Delhi’s Okhla residential and ecologically fragile area (Project: 1254 Chinese waste incinerator technology based power plant of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd, M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited)

Dear Dr Bose,

This is to draw your attention towards the grave and inexcusable admitted deviation from approved and validated technology in the matter of Clean Development Management (CDM) project by Delhi’s Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited.

I submit the following: 
1)      That it all started with the plan of The Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd. (TWMCPL), a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) to generate 6 MW of electricity from the project at Timarpur, Delhi. At the outset it planned to process and treat 214,500 MT of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and produce 69,000 MT of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) in a year as per company's Project Design Document (PDD) submitted to United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s CDM Executive Board.
2)      That the company submitted the 52 -page long PDD (Version 2) to the Board as CDM project activity to earn carbon credit. The project got listed before the board on 23rd May, 2006, and the CDM Executive Board invited public comments until 21st June, 2006. Subsequently, there was 90- page long Version 04 of PDD of The Timarpur –Okhla Waste Management Company Pvt Ltd’s (TOWMCL) dated 6th September, 2007. Prior to that there Version 03 of PDD dated 28th July, 2006. Then there was PDD Version 03.1. The initial request for registration was submitted on 3rd March, 2007 by Designated Operational Entity (DOE) through Mr Siddarth Yadav of Société Générale de Surveillance (currently known as SGS), a Switzerland and United Kingdom based DOE. The project got registered on 10th November, 2007. Prior to the registration I had submitted elaborate comments in this regard.
3)      That the same is available on UNFCCC’s CDM Executive Board’s website at http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/Validation/DB/9JGKQMHTCBE61J51WVVT1AIH7DUW0H/view.html Subsequently, the 55 -page long PDD Version Number 9 titled Version 04. 1 dated 30th January, 2014 was published on the Board’s website following request for post-registration changes.
4)      That as per Validation opinion for post registration changes provided by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), an Oslo based international certification body and classification society dated 27th May, 2014, new “parameters are now proposed to be additionally monitored consequent  upon the  technology adopted” by TOWMCL. These include monitoring of average  additional  distance  travelled  by  vehicle  for  ash  and  inert  disposal  compared to the baseline in year y is now proposed to be monitored to  account for the  project emission.  It also includes monitoring of “Amount of RDF used outside the project boundary is proposed to be monitored based on the sale invoice.  There  will  normally  be  no  sale  and  the  parameter  is  used  for  project emission calculations.” It adds, “Weight  of  RDF  sold  offsite  for  which  no  sale  invoices  can  be  provided  is  also  monitored .The quantity will be monitored based on weigh bridge report and is being  monitored to account for project emission.” It states “Monitored  content  of  methane  in  the  stack  gas  from  RDF  combustion  in  year  y. This will be monitored by third party on quarterly basis.  This parameter is being monitored to account for project emission.” It submits “Monitored content of nitrous oxide in the stack gas from RDF combustion in year y. This will be monitored by third party on quarterly basis.  This parameter is being monitored to account for project emission.”
5)      That every claim made about RDF is misplaced and an exercise in glaring misrepresentation of facts. It is not surprising that residents have noticed how efforts are on within the premises of the plant to set up a structure in one corner to justify claims regarding RDF.
6)      That the Validation Opinion informs that as  per  the  registered  PDD Version 1 ,  the  project  activity  was  envisaged  to  be  developed  at  two  different location, i.e. Timarpur and Okhla with 650 Tonne Per Day (TPD) of Municipal Solid  Waste (MSW) to be process ed at the Timarpur site while 1300 TPD of MSW was envisaged  to be processed at Okhla site for the preparation of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). Additionally, 100 TPD of green waste (waste collected from garden like dry leaves, cut grass, etc) was to be utilized at Okhla site biomethanation plant for generation of biogas. It was also envisaged to  generate  electricity  to  the  tune  of  16  MW  by  utilizing  the  RDF  produced  from  the  project  activity. However  while  implementing  the  project, Timapur  site  was  not  considered  and  the  total  quantity of waste of  2050 tonnes per day  is now processed at Okhla  site.  The green  waste is  not  being  provided  as  envisaged  earlier but  additional  100 TPD  of  Municipal  Solid  Waste  (MSW) is being provided that is total of 2050 TPD of waste  is provided for processing. Due to the  technology adopted it is estimated that from the RDF produced 20.9 MW of power  can be generated instead of 16 MW envisaged due to better efficiency consequent to preheating  of  the  input  waste. The biomethanation and composting plants were also not required due to change in design as green waste not being made available for processing. The reference to “the technology” is to city refuse incinerator of China’s Hangzhou Boiler Group Co., Ltd that engages in the installation of boiler.    
7)      That as per DNV’s opinion the start date of the project  activity  was  revised  to 27th  November, 2009 which was the date of issue of purchase order for the boiler which is the first order  issued. DNV from the documents verified /3//5//7/ and from the site visit interviews / 24 / can  confirm  that  the  changes  in  the  project  activity  occurred  after  the registration  of  the  project activity on  10th November, 2007. The verified documents refer to Dalkta Energy Services Ltd : Detailed project report dated 4 May 2009, Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Company Private Ltd.: Board resolution on adopting new technology dated 24th June, 2009 and Timarpur – Okhla Waste Management Company Private Ltd.: Contract for supply  Plant and Machinery with Hanzhou Boiler Group dated 27th November, 2009 respectively.
8)      That “DNV from the interviews and perusal of documents find that, the  project participant was not  allocated the green waste that was assured earlier and the waste supplied to the project activity  was  to  be  processed  at  two  locations  Okhla  and  Timarpur. Subsequently the waste is being processed only at Okhla only /3//6//9/. This resulted in changes in the project design.”
9)      That “from the verification  of documents /3//5//7//11//, DNV can conclude that the changes were not known to the project  participant prior to the registration of the project activity.” The verified documents refer to Dalkta Energy Services Ltd: Detailed project report dated 4 May 2009, ICICI Bank : Enhanced loan sanction letter dated 24 December 2009 and Delhi Pollution Control Committee : Consent letter T - 12/458TO465 dated 20/11/12 respectively.
10)  Responding to the comments received from stakeholders, the CDM Executive Board’s Form asked the project proponent the question:”What are the measures taken by the Company regarding the environmental aspects?” mentioned in the PDD. The project proponent replied, “The    Project    Proponents    has    taken    adequate measures regarding the environmental aspects and the SPM, SO2 & NOX levels will comply with all the regulatory requirements. Further Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for the project has also     been     carried     out.     The     Environment Management Plan (EMP), Risk assessment and Disaster   Management   Plan   (DMP)   in   the   EIA report takes care of all the environmental issues.” 
11)  That the  31- page long  report  of  CPCB  communicated  on  22nd March,  2012  on  the  Timarpur - Okhla  Waste  to  Energy  Incinerator  Plant of  Shri Prithivraj  Jindal‟s  JITF  Urban  Infrastructure  Limited  (Jindal  Ecopolis) is  based  on  three  meetings  of  the Technical  Experts  Evaluation  Committee  held  on  26th April, 2011, 11th August, 2011 and 22nd September, 2011. This report underlined that that the operation of Jindal's waste burning based power plant is an act of environmental lawlessness in the heart of the national capital.
12)  That the Terms of Reference (ToR) given by Union Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF)'s Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC) to the project in question specifically demanded "Disaster Management Plan" (DMP) but the CPCB’s Technical Evaluation Committee constituted by the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests headed by Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) observed in its report that the DMP plan has not been prepared.
13)  That Jindal’s power plant in Okhla is amidst residential colonials and institutions of national importance like Central Road Research Institute, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and the Indian Institute of Information Technology.  Such toxic emissions from the Jindal's power plant in an ecologically sensitive area and thickly populated area has become a routine affair with all the concerned authorities turning a blind eye towards this illegitimate and illegal act. This plant has violated all the rules in the rule book.
14)  That the plant is using untested and unapproved Chinese incinerator technology, a fact noted in the report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) committee constituted after a delegation had met Shri Jairam Ramesh, the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests pursuant to his site visit of the plant. It is noteworthy that the Union Environment Minister had written to the then Chief Minister, Delhi underling that the plant is functioning in violation of environmental regulations.
15)  That the plant in question is situated in a green belt. It is in contravention of section 3(2) (v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Rule 5 (ix) of Environment (protection) Rules, 1986 and Guidelines for Establishment of Industries issued by Ministry of Environment & Forests. Besides violating all the relevant laws and rules, this plant is violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 creating a compelling reason for the closure of this plant.  That now a bizarre situation has emerged because the arguments for Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) incineration technology that was advanced by the company before the MoEF and the UNFCC’s CDM Executive Board are no more relevant because the plant is using an experimental Chinese technology which was never ever mentioned at the time of submitting the project proposal or in its EIA report based on which a so-called Public Hearing was conducted in Saket in the presence of two officials only as per records.  It was CPCB’s report that disclosed that Jindal’s power plant was using an unapproved technology. 
16)  Having studied the details of the project and its impacts, I submit that National CDM Authority ought to devise ways to stop such hazardous projects from being designated as CDM projects.  It is also submitted that for a project to qualify as climate change mitigating project it is necessary that it excludes waste incineration -- including waste pelletisation or RDF, pyrolysis, gasification systems -- technologies. Incineration produces pollutants which are detrimental to health and the environment. Incineration is expensive and does not eliminate or adequately control the toxic emissions from today's chemically complex municipal discards. Even the latest incinerators release toxic metals, dioxins, and acid gases. Far from eliminating the need for a landfill, waste incinerator systems produce toxic ash and other residues. Such projects disperse incinerator ash throughout the environment and subsequently enter our food chain.
17)  That the Project Design Document (PDD) deliberately chose not to mention emission of dioxins and heavy metals and thus does not mention the method to deal with such emissions. Dioxins are the most lethal Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which are associated with irreparable environmental health consequences. It did not reveal that the project is situated in an ecologically fragile and a densely residential area adjoining a bird sanctuary and a wetland.
18)  That TOWMCL’s agreement with Siemens  Ltd: Agreement  NG2010  dated  7th  May,  2010  for  design, engineering, supply  and erection of turbine generator merits scrutiny besides agreement with Waxi  Guolian  Huaguang  Power  Engineering  Co  Ltd:  Agreement  for  supply  of  machinery, equipment for flue gas system and Hangzhou  Boiler  Group  Co:  Contract  NG2009 - 311  dated  24  Dec ember 2009  for  supply of boiler to ascertain whether pre-existing general and specific conditions as envisaged in the Environmental Clearance certificate for the project based RDF technology has been complied with. All these official documents besides the CPCB report clearly indicate that Chinese boiler technology based waste to energy plant has violated every rule in the rule book. 
19)  That the first Environmental Clearance to this plant was granted 21st March, 2007 for 15 MW under the signature of Dr A Senthil Vel, Additional Director, MoEF pursuant to directions from Shri R Chandramohan, Joint Secretary, MoEF. The minutes of the 46th meeting of Expert Appraisal Committee on Infrastructure Development and Miscellaneous Projects held on 16th November, 2006 reveals that TOWMCL, the project proponent when it was part of IL&FS Limited (when Shri D K Mittal, IAS was its Managing Director) had submitted that it will set up a Refuse Derived Fuel technology facility based on Department of Science and Technology-TIFAC technology with a capacity to process 1300 tons per day of MSW to produce 15 MW of power. Subsequently, TOWMCL requested Dr A Senthil Vel “to issue make suitable amendments in the EC to reflect the capacity of the proposed plant as 16 MW instead of 15 MW. The EC was amended for processing 1950 tons MSW by an order dated 9th May, 2007. In March 2011, TOWMCL again sought an amendment to the EC after making submission for an additional 4.9 MW before the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for processing of 2050 tons of MSW. The EC was amended again for 20.9 MW. Although these amendments happened no new studies have been carried out to assess the impacts of the alteration in the technology and the changes the installed capacity.
20)  In a glaring omission TOWMCL did not disclose its Contract for supply Plant and Machinery with Hanzhou Boiler Group dated 27th November, 2009 to the EAC.
21)  That it is noteworthy that even the initial EC was granted based on a fake public hearing as per records. The public hearing was conducted in Saket on January 20, 2007 instead of it being conducted in Okhla area where the project was proposed. The advertisement for the Public Hearing was made through two newspapers on 17th December, 2006. The advertisement was titled “Public Hearing for environmental clearance to the construction of proposed integrated municipal solid waste processing complex at Okhla —adjacent to existing Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) Delhi.” It did not disclose that it was a waste based power plant.
22)  That prior to the public hearing Shri Mittal wrote at least twice to Shri Chandramohan on 5th October, 2006 and 13th October, 2006. It was “B category project promoted to A category because of proximity to inter-state border & sanctuary (within 10 km). Hence Public Hearing report sought.” The Public Notice for public hearing did not disclose that the proposed plant in the residential area was a waste based thermal power plant, it was advertized as “Integrated Municipal Waste Processing Complex”. The attendance register revealed that there was virtually no attendance for the public hearing. The fact is that the Public Hearing did not take place as per the letter and spirit of Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, something which was admitted by the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests in writing. Besides the project was subsequently sold to JITF Urban Infrastructure Limited (Jindal Ecopolis), which took no fresh environment clearance.
23)  That this plant is owned by Shri Prithviraj Jindal who won an open tender in 2008 to build and operate the plant for 25 years at a project cost of Rs 240 crore. It is apparent that the owner has ignored the disastrous environmental health consequences of plant’s operations. 
24)  That the representatives of GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) led by Dr. Juergen Porst, Senior Advisor stressed the need for a Disaster Management Plan in the very first meeting of this CPCB Committee, which is annexed to the CPCB's report. This finds reference in the minutes of the meeting annexed with the report. It underlines the possibility of disaster from the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant, which is situated in a residential area. It is noteworthy that a hazardous plant in Bhopal's residential area that led to world worst industrial disaster in 1984 also did not have any disaster management plan. This report made a shocking revelation that although Hon’ble High Court has been hearing the case since 2009, the project proponent did not inform the court about gross deviations from the project design plan envisaged in the EIA report. As per the minutes of the second meeting of this committee, non-cooperative approach of the senior officials of Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant was “condemned” on 11th August, 2011. Representatives of GTZ underlined that there was lack of transparency with regard to environmental and health impact on the neighborhood residents. It was also noted that the fugitive emissions and the expected emission of Dioxins and Furans has not been quantified. The characteristic of ash and required standards was not mentioned. Prof. T R Sreekrishnan, Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology and a member of the Committee stated that disposal option for incineration instead of bio-methanation proposed for green waste is in violation of what was mentioned in the EIA report of the company in question.
25)  That all subsequent reports by subordinate officers of Chairman, CPCB are subservient to this report of the High Powered Technical Experts Evaluation Committee headed by Chairman, CPCB. This report revealed how illegal Chinese boilers are being used without any approval in Delhi’s Okhla Waste to Energy project. The technical review by CPCB committee admitted that efficacy of reciprocal stoker type boilers (in place of RDF) "is not known for Indian conditions and requires to be verified."  There is a compelling reason to take cognizance of this report as the main report of CPCB.  This committee noted that this plant is operating in violation of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) [MSW] Rules, 2000. It came to light from the observation of Shri A B Akolkar from CPCB who is currently the Member Secretary, CPCB.
26)  A study of the first monitoring report of the TOWMCL’s integrated waste to energy project in Delhi dated 17th October, 2012 shows that facts were not verified on the ground and those who were adversely affected by the project were not consulted. As a consequence this questionable project managed to get Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) issued. The initial crediting period of the project was mentioned as 1st April 2009 – 31st March 2019. Now it has been changed to 30th March 2011 – 29th March 2021 and declared as fixed.
27)  All these developments vindicate the validity of my comments on the PDD which are available at this URL of  CDM Executive Board http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/Validation/DB/9JGKQMHTCBE61J51WVVT1AIH7DUW0H/view.html
28)  That it may be noted the Master Plan Report (2020) of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said, “RDF is often an option when emission standards are lax and RDF is burned in conventional boilers with no special precautions for emissions.” The Authority ought to pay heed to it as well.

Having studied the second monitoring report of the project dated 15th October, 2015 and the relevant pages on the website of the Board, it is learnt that as of 30th May, 2016, “CDM Issuance request” for CERs is awaited. As you are aware Issuance is the instruction by the CDM Executive Board to the CDM Registry Administrator to issue a specified quantity of CERs, lCERs, or tCERs for a project activity or PoA into the pending account of the Board in the CDM registry, for subsequent distribution to accounts of project participants in accordance with the CDM rules and requirements. These reports for UNFCCC reference number of the project activity 1254 are available on UNFCCC’s CDM Executive Board’s website.

In view of the above facts and violations on numerous counts, I wish to request you to ensure that UNFCCC’s CDM Executive Board desists from issuance of CERs to this plant because you have a legal and moral obligation to save present and future generation of residents from being enveloped in a toxic gas chamber as a consequence of use of such hazardous incinerator technology adopted for generating energy from waste which admittedly has hazardous waste characteristics.   

I will be happy to share more information and relevant documents since March 2005 till date.

Thanking you in anticipation

Yours faithfully
Dr Gopal Krishna
Director
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
New Delhi-110016
Mb: 09818089660, 08227816731
Tel/Fax: 91-11-26517814
Email: 1715krishna@gmail.com,

Cc
Mr. Eduardo Calvo, Chair, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) Secretariat



 



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