Pune: Civic activists have claimed that over five biogas and electricity plants, which are run through processing of wet garbage, are non-functional. Civic activist Vivek Velankar said that the civic body has spent over Rs 16 crore to set up 25 projects since 2015 across the city.
According to the Solid Waste Management Department, all these plants have the capacity to process 125 tonnes of wet garbage and the civic body has spent more than Rs 2.50 crore for plant maintenance. Velankar claimed that this information was received as per a Right To Information (RTI) application filed by him and said that the written reply given by the civic body has pointed out that five plants, namely Baner, Hadapsar (2), Peshwe Park and Katraj are non-functional.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Velankar said, “When we filed the RTI application to know the condition of biogas plants, we got information that Baner, two plants in Hadapsar, Peshwe Park and near Katraj railway museum are not working. The plants in Peshwe Park and Hadapsar are not working since October 2015, while the plant in Baner is not working since June 2017.”
He added, “Yerawada, Wadgaon Budruk, Ghole Road and Wanawadi plants are not generating a single unit of electricity. On the other hand, Peshwe Park and Phule Nagar are processing garbage only 38 per cent of their overall capacity. The corporation has emphasised that all these plants have the capacity to process 125 tonnes of garbage every day. However, we send 65 per cent of garbage daily for processing.”
Velankar added, “From the last three years, we are demanding that the civic body share information regarding non working biogas plants. However, the administration is showing least seriousness on this issue and is busy wasting public money. This should stop.”
Suresh Jagtap, Head of PMC’s Solid Waste Management Department, said, “Out of 25 plants, 20 plants are working. Remaining five are not generating electricity but the processing of garbage is being done. We have mentioned this in our written RTI reply. Due to technical problems, there is no generation of electricity from these five plants. We are sorting out this problem. The electricity thus generated will be used for lighting street lights.”