Consortium threatens to walk out of Achan waste-to-energy plant construction

Rues delay in finalisation of power purchase agreement; ‘proposal stuck at member-less SERC level’
Consortium threatens to walk out of Achan waste-to-energy plant construction
File Photo

A consortium hired to set up waste-to-energy plant at Achandumping site is likely to walk out of the project on grounds of delay byauthorities to perform their job under the agreement.

A 5-MW power plant was to be installed at Achan that servesas dumping site for municipal waste generated in Srinagar. As per the details,once completed the project would use 450 metric ton of solid waste generated ondaily basis to convert it into low-cost electricity and facilitate productivedisposal of harmful waste.

On 22 December 2017, National Green tribunal issueddirections to state government for completion of the project, first of its kindin J&K, within 18 months.

The delay in allotting land to consortium for establishmentof plant and other relevant formalities has resulted in cost escalation of Rs50 core, said a member of consortium. The project was approved at Rs 120.

Director consortium Kumail Ansari confirmed that they weremulling to wind up the project. "We have spent around 13 crore on landdevelopment at the site (place where plant is to be established). Beforeinstalling machinery and civil infrastructure, there has to be power purchaseagreement. But that is nowhere," he added.

Under Public-Private-Partnership mode, the plant is to bedesigned, developed and managed by the consortium of Highland AutomobilesPrivate Limited, Key Stone Energy Limited, and Astrix.

The entire cost is to be borne by the bidder but that willbe applicable only if the government signs the power royalty agreement with theconsortium.

However an official contradicted Ansari saying they havefinalised agreement for power purchase with the consortium. "Not it has to beendorsed by state electricity regulatory commission which is not having itsfull strength of members. That is why there is delay," said an official.

An expert expressed anguish over the delay in commissioningof the plant which was allotted for execution by Srinagar Municipal Corporationin January 2018. He said management of solid waste in a way that would generateelectricity in the city was first ever innovation in municipal operations "butit seems authorities are out to kill the very first innovative idea."

The aim of the project, that is to be completed in 18months, is to end crisis of solid waste management in Srinagar city, and tocreate a mechanism for waste management at an affordable cost.

The SMC commissioner, who under the rules, is supposed tofacilitate and complete the agreement between consortium and state electricityregulating authority, said, "i cannot comment on the issue only aftergoing through the file."

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