Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Budget 2023-2024 listing the seven priorities or the ‘Saptarishi’ guiding us through the Amrit Kaal. In the ‘Green Growth’ segment, 500 new Waste to Wealth plants will be established under the GOBARdhan scheme for promoting circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas plants, 75 in urban areas, 300 community or cluster-based plants, at a total investment of Rs 10,000 Cr.
As part of furthering the ‘Green Growth’ agenda, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Engineers India Limited to develop Waste to Energy and bio-methanation projects in cities with a population of million plus. In the presence of Mr. Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MoHUA and Ms. Vartika Shukla, C&MD, EIL, the MoU was signed by Ms. Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary, SBM-U & Mission Director, MoHUA and Mr. R.K. Rathi, Executive Director, EIL.
The thrust on sustainable solid waste management has been strengthened under the ambit of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, with the overall vision of creating garbage-free cities. Focusing on this objective, MoHUA has decided to set up large-scale solid waste processing facilities in million plus cities. There are 59 million plus cities in India like Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Nasik, Thane, Nagpur, Gwalior, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore to name a few. For management of organic/wet fraction of municipal solid waste bio-methanation plants have been proposed in these million plus cities.
In February 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated Asia’s biggest municipal solid waste based GOBARdhan plant in Indore aiming to generate 19,000 kg bio-CNG gas. Under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, the bio-methanation plants linked to the GOBARdhan and SATAT schemes will produce Bio-CNG as a renewable energy.
Waste to Energy plants use dry waste fraction of municipal solid waste and produce renewable power with maximum reduction of waste volume utilizing least space in execution in compliance with SWM Rules 2016 and fulfill all the statutory norms of environment protection. Waste to Energy and bio-methanation projects will integrate the concept of circularity in waste management by producing green energy from dry and wet waste component of municipal solid waste. The by-product such as electricity and Bio-CNG will also help in achieving sustainability of waste management operations.
EIL will assist and handhold the million plus cities in developing such projects for larger quantum of waste integrating circularity in waste management. In the first phase, 25 million plus cities will be selected for developing large-scale process plants. The success of these projects will be pivotal as it will be conceptualized and executed as bench-marking for such projects. Thus, collaboration for providing support in preliminary technical assessment and Transaction Advisory services from EIL will have significant impact. EIL will also handhold ULBs in carrying out monitoring process of these PPP projects during the construction phase and will assist in obtaining statutory approvals. The initiative will result in additional processing capacity of 15,000 TPD for Bio-Methanation and 10,000 TPD for Waste to Energy respectively.
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