Deonar dump ready for Rs 5000-cr makeover

A few months from now, the foul-smelling Deonar, where the country's largest and oldest dumping ground is located, will close its gates to the city's garbage. The reason for the partial closure for two years is that it is gearing up for a Rs 5,000-crore makeover. A waste-treatment plant, the biggest such project by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is being set up there.

After the plant for scientific treatment of waste comes up, the 71-year-old dump will also earn the BMC carbon credits and help it generate electricity from methane released.

Around 4,000 tonnes garbage from the city is dumped there every day.

Additional Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev said a consortium comprising United Phosphorus Limited, Kerala-based POABS and Germany-based MDSE, has been awarded the contract.

Deputy chief engineer (Projects, Solid Waste Management) Y M Chikhale said the proposal will soon be tabled before a Standing Committee. The project being sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has received environmental and civic clearance.

Chetan Zhaveri, project director and vice-president of BMC's consultants IL&FS Ecosmart Ltd, said the project was the first of its kind in the country. "The waste will be processed and the rejected inert will be scientifically disposed of in sanitary landfill," he said, adding it was also the largest integrated MSW facility on a public private partnership.

The closure of the dumping ground will take place in two phases: 65 hectares will be closed while the remaining 55 hectares will have a processing plant and sanitary landfill. Presently, of the 132 hectares, 120 hectares is covered by waste haphazardly dumped without treatment. In a process similar to that of Gorai dumping ground, waste on 65 hectares will be reformed and the land will be levelled. The site will be covered by layers of geo-textile and geo-membrane to avoid generation of leachates and then enclosed with soil and landscaping. There will be a collection and treatment plant for draining liquid from the landfill. A landfill gas generation project will capture methane to generate power.

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