As readers of Panchabuta might be aware we had talked about Municipal Corporation of Delhi to become the first local body in India to get carbon credits for the Okhla compost plant. Further we had mentioned in December last year that Municipal Corporation of Delhi had announced plans to generate power from waste, with three plants at Okhla and Timarpur (16 MW), Gazipur (10 MW) and Narela-Bawana Road (36 MW).
Last month, residents of Sukhdev Vihar in South Delhi were up in arms against the waste-to-energy plant coming up 150 metres away from the colony’s boundary. After generating public opinion for the previous two months, the residents on Thursday submitted a memorandum to Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and demonstrated outside his office on Thursday, demanding that further construction of the plant be stopped immediately.
According to reports, taking note of strong protest by residents, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh a few days ago ordered an inquiry into the ‘waste-to-energy Plant’ the Delhi Government is setting up in the Okhla area in the capital. This is a further set back to the ‘waste-to-energy’ project. Mr Ramesh visited the site this afternoon along with top authorities of the Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) and asked Chairman of the Board S P Gautam to look into the complaints that the plant would contaminate the environment of the areas by releasing toxic gases.
In yet another twist to this story, according to reports, the Shiela Dikshit government, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court just a couple of days after Ramesh visited the project site at Okhla and said: “The Timarpur-Okhla project would utilise 2,050 tonnes per day of municipal waste to generate over 16 MW of green electricity and is expected to be complete by this year.”
The affidavit was filed by counsel Wasim A Qadri before a Bench headed by Justice D K Jain, which was hearing amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar about the looming power shortage in the capital during the coming summer days.
The government said: “The Ghazipur project would also process 1,300 tonnes per day of municipal waste generated in the Trans-Yamuna area to produce 12 MW of green electricity and is expected to be completed by 2012.”
These are very interesting developments to watch as a number of waste-to-energy has become one of the most sought after investment themes in the renewable space by private equity investors that Panchabuta has been regularly interacting with. Also, most investors do not realize that though there are “green” projects most of them often have a complicated and lengthy approval process including environmental clearance and public hearing in cases that are usually time-consuming.