Work to clean up over 7.5 lakh metric tons (MT) of decaying legacy waste at the Dadumajra landfill since 2005 is expected to finally start within a month.
In its second attempt to award the works, the municipal corporation (MC) finalized the firm on Friday.
Of the three shortlisted companies, Aakanksha Enterprises had submitted the lowest bid of ₹79.68 crore and after negotiations it was brought down to par with the estimated cost of the ₹68 crores.
A senior UT official said: “As the bid was 17% higher than the estimated cost in the tender, MC negotiated with the bidder to lower it. The results of the tender Bids have been submitted to the state-level technical committee, which gave the go-ahead on Friday.
The other two companies had offered much higher offers of ₹122 crores and ₹126 crore. Also on MC’s last attempt bids were over ₹100 crore.
“Within 15 days, all the formalities for awarding the work will be completed and the company will begin work within a month. The time frame for the completion of the project is three years, although it is expected to be completed much earlier,” the official said.
The Dadumajra landfill was one of the central issues in last year’s municipal elections. The site has been blamed for serious health problems in the large population living around it.
Over the past 15 years, the landfill has also witnessed, on average, 30 fires per year.
In the past six years alone, around 40 lakh liters of water have been used to extinguish the multiple fires at the site. According to a rough estimate, this quantity is enough to meet the daily water needs of about 16,000 people.
The site was also one of the reasons for City Beautiful’s poor performance in Swachh Survekshan’s last two rankings.
25 acres buried under a mountain of trash
A total of 12.5 lakh MT of legacy waste is to be disposed of at Dadumajra landfill to reclaim over 25 acres of land.
Of these, 5 lakh MT dating back to before 2005 are being bio-mined as part of a Smart City project. Originally slated to be completed by May 2021, the project now has an August 2023 deadline, although officials say it should be completed by December 2022.
The ₹A 33 crore legacy mining project was launched with great fanfare in December 2019 by then UT Administrator Vice President Singh Badnore in the presence of Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher. About 5 lakh MT (80%) of this waste has already been removed.
The ₹The 68 crore project under the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will target the remaining 7.5 lakh MT of 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 landfill without treatment.