Bandhwari waste-to-energy project a disaster: activists

By TheHindu on 08 Aug 2017 | read

The proposal to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Bandhwari village here has come under sharp criticism, with activists arguing that the project will have serious economic, environmental and social implications.

The civic bodies of Gurugram and Faridabad had on June 30 signed an MoU for the development of Haryana’s first integrated solid waste management project bided on Output-Based Incentive (OBI). Under this, solid waste collected from Gurugram and Faridabad will be used to generate a minimum of 10 MW of power.

Cost Rs. 330 crore

The project will cost over Rs. 330 crore. Twenty-eight acres of land, with a concession period of 22 years, has been identified in Bandhwari for the same.

Activists, however, claimed that such plants have been a failure across the globe. They reiterated the need to implement a de-centralised model of waste management, which makes segregation at source mandatory. They also advocated the need to promote waste composting, dry waste collection, and recovery centres.

“The plant will do little justice to the city’s natural environment, its eco-sustainability and its citizens. Investing public money in technologies should be the last option. Instead, the civic body should focus on segregating waste at source,” said Ruchika Sethi, who runs the “Why Waste Your Waste” campaign in Gurugram.

‘Rise in air pollution’

The activists also argued that the setting up of the plant goes against India’s voluntary commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, as vehicles carrying garbage to Bandhwari from Gurugram and Faridabad will cause air pollution.

Sashi Bhushan, a waste workers’ rights champion, said the move is “anti-people” and “anti-waste worker”.

He said a lot of people depend on recycled waste for a living, and the waste-to-energy plant will render them jobless.

He also said that burning of mixed waste releases a lot of toxic gases.