The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) standing committee on Wednesday approved the Rs 1000 crore waste to energy project at Deonar dumping ground. However, this venture faced opposition from local corporators. Samajwadi Party corporator and Bhiwandi MLA Rais Shaikh opposed the venture in the BMC’s standing committee meeting on Wednesday, claiming that the proposal was passed without any discussion.
In his letter dated November 4, to the standing committee chairman, Shaikh claimed that as per the directions of Bombay High Court, it is mandatory to take the views of corporators and discuss all the matters listed in the agenda with them before approving them. "Neither was the matter discussed, nor was any committee member allowed to present their views on the matter. It was approved by the chairman without any discussion. Which is contempt for the court's order," said Rais Shaikh,
Shaikh added, "The project has been opposed by the residents. The waste to energy plant will result in several environmental and health hazards and impact the health and lifestyles of the residents living around the dumping ground. Besides, I myself wanted to preset my views. I had written to the chairman before the meeting to conduct voting amongst the members before approving the project."
While the waste-to-energy plant is expected to produce 25-30 megawatts of energy by processing 3,000 metric tonnes of garbage per day, it requires about 14 ha of land to set up the plant inside the 120-ha dumping ground.
Meanwhile, the civic body also tabled a proposal of appointing engineering institutes as third-party auditors to conduct technical audits of ongoing or proposed infrastructure projects in the city. The civic body had approached Mumbai based Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) and central government's undertaking Certification Engineers International Ltd. (CEIL) that provides certification and inspection of engineering projects.
While the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) turned down the civic body's proposal, other three institutes agreed to act as third party auditors.
"When we already have qualified engineers, why do we need students and trainee engineers from these institutes to come and audit these infra-projects twice. For which they will be paid 1.5 per cent of the total tender cost. The civic administration needs to rethink this,” said Rais Shaikh.
Corporators, cutting across parties lines, strongly demanded the setting up of a panel of BMC engineers for the audit works for various projects, at the standing committee meeting held on Wednesday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spends crores of rupees on appointing consultants for the audit works of various projects, but still the project doesn’t last for the stipulated time period with various accidents taking place. Despite spending crores for appointing auditors no concrete results are seen claimed one of the corporator.
The proposal was not approved by the standing committee and was kept aside, with a demand for more details on the proposal before it is tabled again.