Work on cleaning more than 7.5 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of legacy waste rotting at the Dadumajra landfill since 2005 is finally set to start within a month.
In its second attempt at allotting the work, the municipal corporation (MC) on Friday finalised the firm.
Of the three shortlisted companies, Aakanksha Enterprises had submitted the lowest bid of ₹79.68 crore and after negotiations, it has been brought on par with the project’s estimated cost of ₹68 crore.
A senior UT official said, “As the bid was 17% more than the estimated cost in the tender, MC negotiated with the bidder to bring it down. The bid results were submitted with the state-level technical committee, which gave the go-ahead on Friday.”
The other two companies had quoted much higher bids of ₹122 crore and ₹126 crore. In MC’s last attempt too, bids were higher than ₹100 crore.
“Within 15 days, all formalities for allotting the work will be completed and the firm will start work within a month. The project completion deadline is three years, though it is expected to be completed well before it,” said the official.
The Dadumajra dumping site was one of the central issues during the last year’s civic body elections. The site has been blamed for serious health issues in the large population living around it.
Over the past 15 years, the landfill has also witnessed, on an average, 30 fires per year.
In the last six years alone, approximately 40 lakh litres of water have been used to douse the multiple fires at the site. As per a rough estimate, this quantity is enough to meet the daily water needs of approximately 16,000 people.
The site was also one of the reasons for the City Beautiful’s poor performance in the last couple of Swachh Survekshan rankings.
25 acres buried under mountain of garbage
A total of 12.5 lakh MT legacy waste is to be cleared at the Dadumajra landfill to reclaim over 25 acres of land.
Of this, 5 lakh MT from before 2005 is being bio-mined under a Smart City project. Initially planned to completed by May 2021, the project now has an August 2023 deadline, though officials say it is likely to be achieved by December 2022.
The ₹33-crore legacy mining project was launched with much fanfare in December 2019 by the then UT administrator, VP Singh Badnore, in the presence of Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher. Around 5 lakh MT (80%) of this garbage has already been removed.
The ₹68-crore project under the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will target the remaining 7.5 lakh MT legacy waste dumped at the Dadumajra site after 2005.
While Chandigarh’s daily solid waste generation is around 550-600 MT, most of it is dumped at the landfill without processing.