Expert Visits made to Rajkot City under the CapaCITIES Project

As part of the CapaCITIES project supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a team from ICLEI South Asia along with Ms. Simone Buetzer, Division Manager, Hunziker Betatech made various site visits in Rajkot between the 17th and 19th of July.

At Raiya Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) they met with Mr. M.H. Ghoniya, In-Charge City Engineer, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC); Mr. Chetan Mori, Deputy Executive Engineer, RMC; and Mr. Nitin Govani, Contractor responsible for operation and maintenance of the STP. Mr. Arun Mahesh Babu, Deputy Municipal Commissioner who accompanied the team emphasized the need for reusing treated wastewater. RMC is planning to implement a tertiary treatment plant through a pilot and will scale up such plants after its successful implementation. Mr. Babu also emphasized the need to preserve local aquifers as quick solution for the city. Additionally, the City’s natural drains (Vokdas) are encroached and blocked resulting in some water logged areas.

During the visit, the technical team was appraised of the workings and shortcomings of the plant including compliance, efficiency and performance. Ms. Buetzer discussed various options which could help to increase the plant’s efficiency and further measures and modifications which would need to be taken to comply with existing CPCB standards. Ms. Chaturvedula (ICLEI) suggested that as a short term and quick measure, the City could identify some water logged points and provide area wise infiltration beds with proper filter media. The team also discussed the protocol that needed to be followed for safe handling and use of the sludge left in the biogas chambers of the plant.

The technical team also visited the Nakrawadi solid waste dumpsite, the Sokhda old solid waste dumpsite, the Waste to Bio-methanation Plant (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre - BARC), and the Composting Plant in Raiyadhar, along with Mr. Ambesh Dave, Deputy Executive Engineer, Solid Waste Management Department. RMC intends to install a composting plant, waste to bio-methanation plant and waste to energy plant but waste segregation is identified as the biggest issue in Rajkot, which impedes efficient waste treatment.

The team suggested the possibility of reclamation of the old dumpsite and looking into waste characteristics, actual estimation of total waste generated, and calorific value before the installation of the waste treatment plants. An overall perspective plan will help streamline waste management activities in the city.

The waste to bio-methanation plant is not working to its full potential because of waste material not being crushed properly. It was also noted that there might be blockage in the sludge carrying pipeline between aerobic tank and anaerobic digester. Currently, RMC is getting segregated biological and food waste from hotels for this plant, however with a proper segregation plan in place at the household level it is possible to scale up the plant.

At the composting plant a few suggestions were made to reduce energy consumption and improve the plant’s efficiency. The technical team recommended that a dry waste recovery center be started in the premises which could then be institutionalised.

Meetings were held with Mr. Banchhanidhi Pani, Municipal Commissioner, Dr. Jaiman Upadhyay, Mayor, the City Engineer, Mr. Chirag Pandya, RMC, Mr. Ankur Sanghvi, Architect, to discuss quick win and bankable projects, project activities and green building initiatives taken by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, and the findings and observations of site visits.

The observations made and the measures discussed will be compiled into a recommendation report for the Corporation. 

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