A construction and demolition waste processing plant will be set up in the city soon, a senior official of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said on Thursday.
Anyone — from real estate developers to common people carrying out small repairs at home — can send the waste generated to the plant that will come up on a 2-acre plot at Patharghata near New Town.
The KMC has provided the plot and will fund the construction along with operation of the plant for 10 years. A private company from Hyderabad — Hyderabad Integrated MSW Private Limited — will build and operate the plant, the first of its kind to be established in the city in collaboration with a private agency.
“The construction of the plant is likely to start next week. It will be ready by December 31. We are hoping that its operations will begin from January next year,” said a senior engineer of the KMC.
The plant holds out the hope of an end to the culture of piling construction or demolition waste on the road and footpath or dumping it in some vacant land surreptitiously.
The dust emanating from the waste or during the construction and demolition job are significant contributors to the poor air quality of Kolkata.
A study by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), published in 2019, showed that road dust and construction-demolition waste contributed 31.7 per cent in PM10 particulate matter pollution during the summer and 17.1 per cent in winter in Kolkata.
Homes in the city need dusting regularly as a fine layer of dust settles on furniture.
“We have planned to keep a toll-free number where anyone can call and order the removal of the waste. A vehicle will reach the site, weigh the waste and charge a sum from the party handing over the waste,” said a KMC official.
The KMC will pay the Hyderabad-based company Rs 55.35 crore over the next 10 years to construct the plant and run it. The company will charge Rs 369 from the KMC for processing each tonne of C&D waste.
The civic body could recover the cost from the waste generators, like real estate companies.
The rates for collection from individual houses or whether residential properties will be exempted from paying for the service will be decided in the coming months, said the KMC official.
The plant will be able to process 500 tonnes of waste in a day.
A KMC official said approximately 800 tonnes of construction and demolition waste was generated in Kolkata each day.
The Union government had notified the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules in 2016 that had made it mandatory for the waste to be processed and recycled.
The waste is now either dumped at the Dhapa waste dumping ground or used to build the bed of roads or for patchworks on broken roads.