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Dioxins emitting waste burning factory akin to peacetime use of war chemicals

Written By krishna on Friday, October 28, 2011 | 11:35 PM

Press Release

Waste to Power Plant in Delhi’s Narela-Bawana endangers public health & environment

Dioxins emitting waste burning factory akin to peacetime use of war chemicals

New Delhi: The proposal of waste incineration to power plant at Narela- Bawana disregards its adverse impact on public health and environment. The construction of these plants is in violation of Supreme Court's order because it had permitted subsidy only for Biomethanation technology for five pilot projects. The court order is attached.

The proposal entails burning of some 4000 tonnes per day (TPD) of municipal solid waste in two phases; In Phase-I, it will process 1000 TPD of waste will compose of a material recovery Facility to reclaim metals and recyclables, and sort out organic and combustible material for composting and RDF facilities. In phase-II, a power plant based on Mass-burn technology will process 3000 TPD of waste. It is claimed that a total of approximately 12, 86,260 tonnes of solid waste shall be disposed off in this facility up to closure of the facility that has been planned for 25 years. The total project cost is Rs. 70 Crores for Phase – I and Rs. 378 Crore for Phase – II. The project area is 100 acres.

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) visited the site of waste to power plant near Sannaut village with a Nagrik Samiti of Narela- Bawana which is opposed to the polluting plant. The site is accessible through Narela Bawana Road. Old Delhi Railway Station is about 14 km away from the site. Bawana reserve forest is within 2.5 km radius, Sri Krishna Sultanpur reserve forest is within 4.5 km radius and Haryana state boundary is within 5 km radius.

The current proposal is to establish a waste to energy plant based on incineration of Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for generating 36 MW using MSW processing capacity of 3000 TPD. The public hearing for the project faced angry opposition.

A Fact Finding team visited the plant site in Andhra Pradesh on August 1, 2011 of SELCO International Ltd’s Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) incineration technology based waste to energy project at Elikatta village that lies defunct. The same fate awaits Delhi’s waste to power plants.

The Preliminary Fact Finding Survey Report states, "On 10th August, Citizens of Vietnam remember the anniversary of the first use of nearly 80 million liters of Dioxins laced Agent Orange as chemical weapon against Vietnam from 1961 to 1971 that has wrecked havoc crippling people and causing hitherto unknown diseases for last 50 years. The Dioxins emitting waste to energy incinerators in residential and ecologically fragile areas or elsewhere tantamount to peace time use of chemical weapon against one’s own citizens and their ecosystem." The Fact Finding Survey team comprised of K Babu Rao, former scientist at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, Narasimha Reddy Donthi, Chief Advisor, Chetana Society, Hyderabad and Gopal Krishna, Convener, TWA, New Delhi.

The report takes note of the statement of Mark Radka, Chief of the Energy Branch, Division Technology, Industry and Economics for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) saying, waste to energy is non-renewable energy- 'Municipal solid waste is not considered to be a renewable energy source since it tends to be a mixture of fuels that can be traced back to renewable and non-renewable sources'.
It is significant to note that a White Paper on Pollution in Delhi with an Action Plan' prepared by Union Ministry of Environment and Forests cites a study by National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur saying, "The experience of the incineration plant at Timarpur, Delhi and the briquette plant at Bombay support the fact that thermal treatment of municipal solid waste is not feasible, in situations where the waste has a low calorific value. A critical analysis of biological treatment as an option was undertaken for processing of municipal solid waste in Delhi and it has been recommended that composting will be a viable option. Considering the large quantities of waste requiring to be processed, a mechanical composting plant will be needed."

The White Paper is available at http://envfor.nic.in/divisions/cpoll/delpolln.html
A 40 page report titled "An Industry Blowing Smoke" released by eight national environmental groups saying, the core impacts of all types of incinerators remain the same: They are toxic to public health, harmful to the economy, environment and climate, and undermine recycling and waste reduction programs. It has rightly been argued that "Incinerating the nation's trash is a dirty, damaging and short-sighted non solution to the waste management problem". It is a robust report with 216 references. The report recommends Zero Waste approach that TWA strongly endorses. Zero Waste means striving to reduce waste disposal in landfills and incinerators to zero, iIvesting in reuse, recycling and composting jobs and infrastructure requiring that products are made to be non-toxic and recyclable, ensuring that manufacturers of products assume the full social and environmental costs of what they produce, ensuring that industries reuse materials and respect worker and community rights, preventing waste and reducing unnecessary consumption.

The report was co-released by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League www.bredl.org, California Communities Against Toxics www.stoptoxics.org, Clean Water Action www.cleanwateraction.org, Energy Justice Network www.energyjustice.net, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice www.environmental-justice.org, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives www.no-burn.org, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice www.greenaction.org, Toxics Action Center, www.toxicsaction.org

The idea of waste to energy plants based on a tried, tested and failed incineration technology in Narela-Bawana, Okhla, Timarpur and Gazipur is anti environment, anti-workers and anti-people. These projects are facing bitter opposition. Letters have been sent to UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board complaining about a similar waste to power plant in Delhi. The letters are attached.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Convener, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660, E-mail: krishna1715@gmail.com, Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com
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