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ADB no longer associated with Okhla waste plant

Written By krishna on Monday, January 31, 2011 | 6:33 AM

NEW DELHI: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will now not be associated with the Okhla-Timarpur waste to energy plant. The incineration-based plant in Okhla is under construction and is scheduled to start operations in November 2011.

Asia Pacific Carbon Fund (APCF) had agreed to co-finance the project which, the parent company says, will reduce almost 2.63 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The plant will incinerate 6.43 lakh tonnes of Delhi's waste to run a 16MW power plant. The initial investment in the project is about Rs 174 crore and the plant was supposed to have become operational in October 2009. There were several delays, primarily due to environment-related objections by residents of nearby areas.

On Saturday, residents of nearby areas, including Sukhdev Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Haji Colony, Jasola Vihar and Johri Farm, carried out a protest march. The group of over 100 people marched from Sarita Vihar to the project site via Mathura Road. They also blocked traffic for close to 30 minutes near Apollo Hospital. "An incineration plant in the middle of a residential area is really a poor idea. The government has still not given answers on how the waste will be carted to this site or how and where it will be segregated. There are several studies, including a white paper by the ministry of environment and forests, to show that composting is the best solution for Indian waste," said Nayantara D, a resident.

Initial assessment of the project was conducted based on the CDM-Project Design Document (PDD). "The nature of the project when assessed was an integrated waste to energy project as mentioned in the PDD. An agreement with the project developer was signed to provide carbon co-financing from APCF, which was subjected to fulfillment of certain condition precedence in the given time frame, including ADB due-diligence of the project. Conditions were not satisfied by the project developer, and, therefore, the agreement has expired. APCF is no longer associated with TIMARPUR-OKHLA Waste Management Company Pvt Ltd's integrated waste to energy project in Delhi and no funds were released for this project," said a senior representative of APCF.

Residents of areas near the project site, including Sarita Vihar, Sukhdev Vihar, Gaffar Manzil and Haji Colony, have been protesting against the incineration plant saying that it will lead to pollution in the area. The matter has been taken to court. "We are against this project. The government seems to have given no thought to the possible environmental and health hazards that this plant may cause. Other similar projects, not just in Delhi but across the country, have failed to work due to the low calorific value of waste used. Why are they wasting money on this?" said Manisha Parikh, a resident of Sukhdev Vihar.

At a meeting of the chief minister and representatives of the power company on Saturday, the issue of foul smell emanating from the existing Timarpur plant was discussed. Sources said that officials seemed confident of addressing the issue once the entire plant was ready.

The two plants under this project are slated to produce around 2.23 tonnes of refuse derived fuel annually while the biomethanation plant will use 100 tonnes of waste to churn out 5,000 cubic metres of biogas daily. The fuel will be used to produce 16MW of power. BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd will purchase half of the power that is produced. Power regulator, DERC, meanwhile recently passed an order on the tariff of the power produced by the plant at Rs 2.49/kWh for the first year and specified that any surplus power from the plant should be sold to a third party.

Jan 30, 2011
The Times of India
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