THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Brahmapuram waste-to-energy plant will be coming up on wetland area, and the state government is trying its best to make the reclamation happen, according to the company which is setting up the plant. However, there is a total prohibition on reclamation of the wetland as per the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008. At a press meet held in the state capital, it was the MD and CEO of GJ Nature Care and Energy Giby George who said that the land allocation process for the plant, delayed because it was a wetland, was in its final stages. He said he hoped that the go-ahead for the project would soon come through.
Sources in the company say that Local and District Level Monitoring Committees have already recommended that the land can be used for setting the plant up. They say that the land was marked ‘nilam’ in the databank of wetlands and paddy fields. The plant, which relies on an advanced combustion technology, will come up on 20 acres with the main gasification infrastructure occupying 5 acres, according to Mr George. The plant would need area for the landfill as fly ash produced as a byproduct of the gasification process will have heavy metals. He said that if the plant works for two decades, the landfill will not be more than 2 acres.
He said that 40-60% of the waste is likely to be the organic waste. When asked if the Biowaste Management Rules does not prohibit the burning of organic waste, he said that the technology relies on an oxygen starvation process. Moreover, it had provisions to make the system shut down if the concentration of certain toxic gases goes above 50 ppm. “Neither the state nor the central government has the power to reclaim wetlands,” says lawyer and green activist Harish Vasudevan.