PUNJAB gets its first industrial waste containment and management plant on Wednesday in Mohali. The project, jointly floated by Nimbua Greenfield (Punjab) Ltd and the Punjab government, will begin in 20 acres of land in Dera Bassi, in Mohali district of Punjab with an investment of nearly Rs 20 crore. The land has been acquired and approved by the Punjab Pollution Control Board and given to NGPL. Of the total investment, a grant of Rs 12.69 crore has come from the commerce ministry.
Hyberabad-based Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd (REEL), one of the leading companies in waste management in India, has erected the plant which was inaugurated by Punjab chief minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal. REEL has been allotted the project on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis for 15 years and on a lease period of 30 years. Waste from the innumerable industrial houses in Punjab will be treated and processed by the firm. The former will be charged Rs 596 a tonne for direct landfilling of waste and an additional amount ranging up to Rs 1,500 in case of prior treatment. NGPL will get Rs 200 for every tonne of industrial waste processed by the plant.
Since NGPL is a special purpose vehicle promoted by major industrial houses including Vardhman Textiles, Nahar Spinning Mills, Ranbaxy Labs, Avon Cycles, Hero Cycles, Aarti Steel Ltd, Indswift Labs, Abhishek Industries (flagship of the Trident Group) and Steel Strips Ltd, the industries will have a strong incentive in providing industrial waste to the project at the direction of Punjab Pollution Control Board.
Emphasising on the need of having such a project, Mr Badal said that a classic example of the gross negligence of the industry was the polluted Bhuda Nallaha. He further said that the estimated waste generated by the industry in Punjab was about 36,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) out of which Ludhiana alone contributes 40%.
The plant will come as a boon for the industries concentrated in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Mohali. The facility will have its own fleet of special containerised vehicles that will be used to transport waste from industries to the plant.
For a state that generates more than 36,000 tonnes of hazardous industrial waste in a year, perhaps it is too late for setting up of an industrial waste management project. REEL managing director, Mr Ravi Kant, however, disagrees. “In the northern region, Punjab is the first state to begin a waste management project while Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are yet to begin with anything on waste management. The scale of this project is small but we have asked for another 100 acres of land for expansion in the second phase as and when we feel the need to increase capacity or add an incinerator,” he says while adding that the company is open to setting up waste management centers in HP and Haryana. “We will be opening a 50 acre waste management project in Chennai within a fortnight and an incinerator in West Bengal by the end of October. Another 60-acre project in Bangalore will be operational by end of December. Yet another 70-acre project in Orissa is also on its way to completion,” adds Mr Kant.