Corporation to resume search for private conservancy operators

After a delay of eight months, the Greater Chennai Corporation is expected to resume work on identifying private conservancy operators for 11 zones in the city this week.

Bidders have been unwilling to participate owing to the stringent norms for payment based on key performance indicators for solid waste management in the past few months.

“The bids for the first package will be opened on Wednesday,” an official said.

However, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have raised objections relating to violations of the Solid Waste Management Rules in the tender. They have also pointed to the violations such as the lack of “composting capacity” in the decentralised waste management system and the “inadequate material recovery” facilities across the city. They made representations to the Corporation Commissioner last week and demanded an end to the disposal of waste in the existing dumpyards of Perungudi and Kodungaiyur.

The first package covering solid waste management in Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram and Ambattur will involve identification of a private conservancy operator for segregation, collection and disposal of 600 tonnes of municipal solid waste every day.

Officials said the old conservancy operator, Ramky Enviro Engineers, was given an extension in Teynampet, Adyar and Kodambakkam till September because of the poor response from bidders for the private conservancy operations.

Relaxed norms

The Corporation also relaxed norms relating to the performance indicators for payment to the private conservancy operator, making the bids attractive for operators. One of the attractions for bidders include the statement by officials that the new operators will not be penalised for failing to achieve 100% source segregation. Work on identification of new conservancy operators for Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur will also resume this week.

According to data compiled by the Chennai Corporation, the civic body has been able to process less than 10% of waste in decentralised plants. The capacity is unlikely to increase further owing to the unwillingness of residents to cooperate on segregating waste at the source, officials said.

The deadline of December 2020 set by the civic body for stopping dumping of wastes in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur may not be possible to achieve, officials added. The tenders floated by the civic body mentions about eight years of segregation, collection and disposal of waste in the 11 zones.

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