Expert Committee suggests biomining to process existing waste in Mandur

Expert Committee on Solid Waste Management submitted to the High Court in Bengaluru that a simple and the only solution to solve Mandur problem effectively was to screen the dump, recover the useful materials and dispose the organic and inert waste, through a process called biomining.

On Friday (June 13th 2014) the Green Bench of High Court of Karnataka, comprising Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice N Kumar received the suggestions by the Expert Committee, on how to dispose the existing dump, the measures to be taken by the BBMP among others. A copy of the suggestions ia available with Citizen Matters.

The Expert Committee also advocated that there is a need to exempt BBMP from complying with Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements Act while awarding biomining contracts immediately, to ensure a speedy solution to the Mandur issue.

No hearing took place as the BBMP Commissioner had to head out for a meeting with Chief Minister on the Mandur issue.

Mandur houses 18.91 lakh metric tons of garbage now, and the delay in disposing this is leading to problems for the surrounding villages. The Expert Committee suggested to the High Court, steps to process the historical waste and how to set up other ancillary mechanisms in place for easy solution.

The report stated, “Considering the composition of waste that was being dumped and the mud was being used as a covering, it is expected that about 30 percent will be the inert/ slit which will come out as reject during screening. Another 15 percent will be plastics and pet bottle kind of materials and the balance will be the stabilized organic matter that can be marketed as soil conditioner. The rejects which will be maximum 20 % of original material need to be scientifically  disposed of at a designated location as a scientific landfill as per MSW rules 2000.”

Further they recommended that BBMP, before awarding any work to the lowest bidders, should check whether the firm has the capability and the intention to do the job. This will avoid the tendering of contracts to the firms who just want to pass on the rights to someone else. Once a tender is cancelled, KTPP act says that there cannot be another tender for the same project before six months, which causes delays in executing projects.

Biomining rates suggested

The Expert Committee scrutinised last year’s quoted rate for the six landfills which was set as Rs 328 to Rs 350 per ton depending on the location. Considering that in last one year the cost of diesel, steel and labour has increased, Committee felt 12% increase is reasonable. The rates for the tenders can be fixed as Rs 381 per tonne and on a volume metric rate, it works out to Rs 544 per cubic metre or less, suggested the Committee.

However the Committee stated that there should be a specific set of guidelines for the companies to follow which should be monitored. They suggested adding a clause of penalty in case the firm fails to meet the set targets.  

The Committee strictly recommended that such a company should be prohibited from leasing the contract to others or sub-contracting the contract to another company. Any company that failed to meet the contractual obligations in the past should not be awarded the biomining work. The companies that form joint ventures with defaulting companies should not be held eligible for the work.

Other suggestions:

  1. The company should take care of their recyclables in their own yard while only rejects will be allowed to be taken away to designated landfill, all at their own cost.

  2. Payment to the companies handling the work of screening should be linked to volume and number of cubic meters of waste excavated and processed by using a density factor of 0.70 for naturally settled waste with soil cover.

  3. A third party of high repute should certify  the contractor’s bill and BBMP should pay only after their (third party’s) certification. This clause should be added in the  MoU.

  4. For third party certifiers of bill, the committee suggested SECON, a consultancy company prequalified with Defence, Railways and Survey Map of India to measure volume. The company decided to take the project as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility, but however the committee feels a nominal fees should be given for manpower cost.

  5. The committee didn’t find it right to dump the present garbage at the existing site. Instead it suggested to either take it to another site or within Mandur to an earmarked area and not over the existing dump that will be processed.

  6. The existing cleared paved yard of 100 m X 125 m should be immediately used for windrow stabilising of about 160 tons per day.

  7. Leachate should be re-injected to the dump by using a single pump. One or two employees should be appointed for this task.

  8. Considering the emergency of the work, BBMP should seek exemption under KTPP act  and entrust work for Mandur North to a reputed company and start the work.

  9. Expert committee promised to periodically monitor the work and have suggested that BBMP release payments only after the certification of a third party and approval by the Expert Committee on the quality of work.

Vendors to be empanelled by BBMP for apartments

BBMP submitted to court that they will empanel service providers for solid waste management for bulk generators for a period of two years within BBMP jurisdiction.

In order to effectively and scientifically facilitate the segregated waste generated by bulk generators, the notice stated that, “BBMP wishes to empanel competent, cost efficient and resourceful vendors as service providers for providing solid waste services like collection, transportation and processing different categories of waste like wet, dry/ recyclable waste, inert waste for landfilling or sanitary and garden waste.” Here bulk generators are defined as residential apartments having more than 50 units or the ones that produce more than 10 kg of waste.

Following the orders given on July 25th 2013, it was mandated for all the bulk generators to segregate their own waste into different categories and manage their waste either in-situ or in a place approved by authorities in a decentralised manner. Bulk generators henceforth will have to use the services of the empanelled service providers for an effective and scientific management of waste.

Application for the same will be provided from June 20th 2014 on the BBMP website. BBMP also submitted the details of contractor’s name and pan card to the court, as per the order dated April 25th 2014.

Mandur protests intensify

The villagers at Mandur continue to protest the dumping of garbage. Many of them have started a fast-unto-death. However, BBMP manages to dump the garbage with the help of police protection, allege villagers. One of the villagers, Sridhar Reddy said, “The situation is still the same, it smells really bad. BBMP is asking us to grant six month’s time, but we are not interested to give them time. Our demand is that BBMP should immediately stop dumping of garbage in our village. BBMP uses police protection to dump garbage, but we will continue to protest.”

Civil society members like H S Doreswamy, B T Lalitha Naik and Aam Aadmi Party members have joined the villagers in their protest. During the protest, H S Doreswamy criticised the BBMP for not taking any measures for seven years and dumping indiscriminately without caring for the villagers’ health.

Ramalinga Reddy, District Incharge Minister for Bangalore, said that the villagers have agreed to let the BBMP dump waste, a claim that was contested by the villagers.

Chief Engineer of Mandur landfill, Munikrishna, said that BBMP dumped waste last week with police protection. “We have not dumped any waste since yesterday. Villagers are having talks with Chief Minister. Let’s see what decision is taken,” he added.

About Nikita Malusare 109 Articles
Nikita Malusare is a Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters.

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