How Coimbatore ‘parks’ its garbage

The private partner was selected through a process of competitive bidding and the CMCC's share of financing was managed through the PPP. Land (180 acres, including 25 acres for the engineered landfill) was given to the private concessionaire by the CMCC on annual lease at Rs 1 per square meter for a period of 20 years. The contract was on DBOOT (Design, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) basis. A minimum quantity of 700 tonnes per day of waste was to be provided by the CMCC and a tipping fee was agreed on the basis of cost calculations for transportation, processing and disposal (up to 25 per cent of the waste). The average tipping fee per metric ton worked out to Rs 668 in 2008, Rs 947 in 2012, Rs 1036 in 2013, rising to Rs 3710 in the terminal year of the contract, that is, 2027.

When I visited Coimbatore a few days ago, I saw a beautifuI green park in a four acre part of the dumpsite at Kavundampalayam. Until 2003, garbage was being dumped at this dumpsite (33.4 acres). Over the years it had collected 30,000 cubic metres of garbage, and the dump height had reached over two metres. The waste has been shifted, bulldozed and re-formed within this area in the process of capping, using thick gas drainage layers, geo-textile lining, vegetative layers and gas vents using perforated HDPE pipes. In capping this dumpsite, the CCMC has reclaimed 20 acres of land besides increasing the land value of the surrounding areas.

It was sad to see construction debris on the reclaimed land, which has been dumped there by builders and will once again have to be transported to dumpsites using public funds. Earlier reports suggested that this land would be used for setting up a modern wholesale vegetable market, but this has not happened.

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