CHENNAI: The phase two of the integrated "waste to energy" conversion plant at Venkatamangalam will begin next month, said Pushpanathan Dharmalingam, technical director, Zonta Infratech, which is a part of the public-private partnership under which the project is being implemented. For phase two, the whole plant (including phase 1 and 2) would be made indoor and this would also put an end to one of the major issues put forth right from the time of its establishment in 2013 - foul smell emission and stench- due to which hygiene took a hit and the hospitals in the area had claimed that they had seen an increase in the incidences of cold and fever.
This had affected residents of eight panchayats including Agaram, Madurapakkam, Ponmar, Mambakkam, Melakottaiyur, Nallampakkam and Venkatamangalam. "The National Green Tribunal's (NGT) guidelines directing the company to break down the refuse-derived fuel (RDF), which is preferred in a solid waste management plant would have to be adhered. For this, we would not store RDF, rather defuse it using specially designed controlled post-combustion technology," said Pushpanathan.
It is learnt that the combustion technology is specially designed to eliminate odour from the plant. "Swarms of flies around food plates and foul stench killed the appetite for over three years now. Though a few civic authorities told they would take measures to reduce the odour, nothing has been done so far. We will heave a sigh of relief if phase two begins," said R. Priyanka, a resident of Agaram.
The plant is currently treating about 300 tonnes of solid waste and phase two would begin in a month after getting formal approval for power purchase from the electricity board and the officials said it would be completed in a year.