The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) is the administrative body responsible for the civic and infrastructural assets of the Greater Bangalore area. It has consistently come under fire for its garbage disposal system.
However, it has now found a way to treat the city’s overflowing waste. It has set up a leachate treatment plant in Belahalli. The plant will deposit treated water into lakes, refilling them.
Leachate is a widely used term in environmental sciences. It refers to any liquid that drains from land or stockpiled material and contains elevated concentrations of undesirable material derived from the material it passes through.
While the Palike claims to have an indigenous method to treat this leachate, they plan to release this treated leachate into the city’s lakes. Due to its varying characteristics and high conductivity, leachate is hard to treat with biological or chemical treatment.
The Bellahalli landfill has about three crore litres of leachate stored at the moment. The landfill generates about 30 lakh litres of the liquid waste every day.
The BBMP had partnered with a company from the Netherlands for a waste-to-energy plant at Bellahalli, with a capacity to treat 1.25 lakh litres of leachate in a day, costing the civic body Rs 2.5 crore.
The BBMP had seven waste processing plants at Kannahalli, Seegehalli, Subbarayanapalya, Doddabidirakalli, Lingadheeranahalli, Kudlu and Chikkanaga mangala, but these have either stopped functioning or function partially because of the protests by nearby villagers. After a complaint from the Karnataka High Court, the Palike is working overtime to make these plants functional again.
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The Bellahalli Plant, which the BBMP claims is the first of its kind, will treat the waste-water at Bellahalli landfill. It has been on a trial run for the last 15 days and will be fully operational by June. It has been jointly set up by Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd (KRDL) and the BBMP.
Gurumurthy, Executive Engineer, KRDL, spoke to Bangalore Mirror, “This is a proven technology and the first-of-its-kind in the country. The waste-water passes through boom tubes and metals under intensive pressure, which separates the particles from the water. Then, the lighter part that comes out can be purified.” According to him, this technology devised indigenously is superior compared to the one used at other leachate plants which only separate solids from the liquid.
Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP said, “Because we know the treated water will be clean, we have planned to release it into the lakes. This will also help in ensuring there is adequate water even during the summer.”
He hopes this new technology will help Bangalore dispose off its waste in a more orderly manner. Also, the waste-to-energy plant will be ready by December. Barring leachate treatment, the BBMP along with KSPCB and KRDL will also produce methane gas from the waste, with which they hope to produce electricity for various state-run plants.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)