Delay in site selection main hindrance behind stalled waste to energy plant: MCI | Pakistan Today

Delay in site selection main hindrance behind stalled waste to energy plant: MCI

Foreign companies have shown desire to build the plants on Build Operate Transfer basis

Each plant to have capacity to generate 350 kilos watt after recycling of one ton of garbage

ISLAMABAD: The idea of having waste-to-energy plants in the federal Capital after its complete success in the Punjab province may take more time for initiating operations as the concerned authorities are yet to select the site for the project’s execution.

Repeated delays may not help the civic authority to properly handle the trash generated in the Capital at the temporary landfill in Sector I-12 for another year.

The Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), which links maintaining the beauty of Islamabad with the installation of the waste to energy plants, says it is fully prepared, but it requires land to go-ahead.

Talking to APP, MCI Director Sanitation Sardar Khan Zimri said the waste-to-energy plants would play a significant role in bringing down littering in the capital to zero levels and provide the city with a civilised look.

“Some foreign companies had shown their desire to build the plants on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis. They had suggested charging 10 to 12 US dollars for converting one-ton garbage into energy and then sell it to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA),” he added.

Responding to a query, he said that he had recently written three letters informing the high-ups about the lack of resources to dispose of the waste piling up in the capital and informed that he was going to submit another letter to the department concerned to highlight the issues pertaining to site selection.

According to MCI’s Project Director Qazi Omer, a waste-to-energy plant costing one billion rupees had the capacity to recycle over 800 tons of garbage.

He said the MCI had planned to install two plants having the capacity to convert 1,000 tons of garbage produced by the capital’s dwellers in its city and suburban areas, into 14 megawatts of electricity. “Each plant will have the capacity to generate 350 kilos watt after recycling of one-ton garbage,” he said.

He said all the paperwork had been completed and only earmarking of the land was awaited. Private investors would be invited to install the plants on a BOT basis,” he added.

He feared more delay due to technical issues regarding the land required for the installation of the plants. “The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had earlier earmarked the Sector I-17 for the project, but it was allotted for building a medical city by National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) a few months later,” he claimed.

A retired CDA employee on the condition of anonymity told APP that despite the lapse of over 50 years, no permanent of garbage dumping site had been set up for the capital due to mishandling of the matter by the civic body. The city had witnessed relocation of dumping site to sectors H-10, I-12, I-14, I-15 and then back to I-12 over the years.  There was the need to deal with the persistent issue of garbage on a permanent basis, he added.

CDA Director Regional Planning Arshad Chauhan, meanwhile, said that they had identified a location near Sangjrani. “Half of the area is located outside the Capital’s jurisdiction in Taxila,” he added.

Expressing his optimism, he claimed that the civic authority was working on the project a war footing. It was currently in the process of land acquisition. “CDA is also in constant contact with the Punjab government in this regard,” he added.

The last year’s audit report by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) mentioned that the CDA had failed to construct a Scientific Sanitary Landfill project approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (NEC) in 2004, on the recommendation of international consultants.

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