On November 3, 2021, the Margao Municipality commissioned with much fanfare the bio-methanation waste treatment plant, with the City Fathers and the powers that be even terming the technology as an answer to the burning garbage woes plaguing the commercial capital?
Exactly 16 months later, a host of questions have come to stare at the Margao Municipal Council in respect of the 5TPD bio-methanation plant installed at the SGPDA retail market. One, has the bio-methanation plant helped the civic body to tide over the garbage crisis by treating the wet waste generated in the city.
At the time of commissioning, it was revealed that the plant would produce around 450 units of power and bio-fertiliser. That’s not all. The company and the powers that be claimed that the generation of power would help the civic body earn revenue pegged at around Rs 3 lakh a month.
In this respect, will the civic body shed light on the amount of power generated by the bio-methanation plant and how much revenue the municipality has earned since the time of commissioning till date. Or, has the power generated by the plant helped to illuminate the street lights in the SGPDA complex as was claimed by the powers that be on November 3, 2021.
Another question that may come to the fore is whether the municipality has in any way made productive use of the bio-fertiliser generated by the waste treatment process. For, it was announced on the day of commissioning of the plant, that the bio-fertiliser, which has a high demand, can be marketed by the MMC to earn revenue.
Well, pose these questions to the Margao Municipal officials and don’t be surprised to come across a reply that the municipality has still not earned any revenue from the bio-methanation plant. It is learnt that electricity generated at the plant has still not been sold to the grid. And, if a senior civic official is to be believed, no mechanism is put in place to transfer the power generated at the plant to the power grid till date. If MMC officials are to be believed, the power generated by the plant is being used to run the operation of the plant, throwing up questions whether the civic body would be compensated in lieu of using the power generated by the plant.
A couple of months ago, the lone bio-methanation plant had come under the scanner of the Pollution Control Board over the discharge of the slurry generated by the plant. It was later decided that the plant would transport the slurry by night soil tankers to the Margao STP for disposal. Questions are being raised whether the slurry is still being disposed of by the night soil tankers or otherwise.
Asked to shed light on the functioning of the bio-methanation plant, Margao Municipal Chief Officer Manuel Barretto says is functioning at the SGPDA and is treating the wet waste generated in the city. He, however, promised to find out from the concerned civic officials the status pertaining to the power that has been generated by the bio-methanation plant and whether the same is being sold to the power grid.
The Margao municipality has tendered a total of three 5TPD bio-methanation plants, out of which the civic body issued work order on the lone plant, which was commissioned on November 3, 2021. The fate of the remaining two bio-methanation plants still remains unknown.
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