Srinagar waste-to-energy plant makes no headway

The much-hyped waste-to-energy plant proposed to be established at Achan, Saidpora here has seen no headway since 2017.

In December 2017, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had fixed 18 months’ timeframe for the project developer to complete the project beyond which it had ordered Rs 50,000 per day penalty.

However, the authorities are yet to sign the power purchase agreement (PPA) with the project developer, the first condition after which the stipulated timeframe had to begin.

The proposed plant, first in Jammu and Kashmir, was approved by then state cabinet in 2017. The proposed 5MW plant would generate electricity from the waste dumped at the site.

Under the public private partnership (PPP), the Rs 200 crore cost of the plant was to be borne by the developer, an official said.

He said that aim of the plant was to end the crisis of municipal solid waste in the Srinagar city and create mechanism for waste management at an affordable cost.

The PPA was a tripartite agreement between Housing and Urban Development Department— owner of the project, the Power Development Department which shall buy the electricity generated from the plant, and the successful bidder (developer) Syntech Bioenergy Private Limited responsible for development of the project.

As per the official documents accessed by Greater Kashmir, the PPA had to be signed with 45 days after issuance of letter of intent. The LoI was issued to the successful bidder in 2018.

H&UDD was required to file a petition before J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission to finalize and get the PPA adopted. However, despite passing of three years, neither the PPA was signed nor any effort made to complete this formality, said an official.  

“The erstwhile JKSERC had already written to the H&UDD for tariff adoption petition but on purpose H&UDD did not put up the petition deliberately to delay the procedure, and is shifting blame on the SMC and the developer,” said Sahil Bhat, Managing Director of the consortium Syntech Bioenergy(P) Ltd.

JKSERC has been now replaced by JERC under J&K Reorganization Act of 2019.

Officials speak

Principal Secretary H&UDD Dheraj Gupta didn’t respond to the repeated calls but texted to a query: “I’m told that the project proponent is to approach the JERC for adoption of tariff. Please check details with the SMC commissioner.”

SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali said that the bidder has been asked to file a petition before JERC so that further progress on the project can be taken up.