A biogas plant set up by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to generate electricity for street lights has been giving nightmares to the residents of Maharashtra Housing Society in Yerwada area. Residents have alleged that the PMC has cheated them by building the plant while it had promised to build a water tank for its pumping station. Now they are complaining that continuous foul smell and irritating noise from the generator sets of the plant have taken away their peace and calm of the locality. There are nearly four housing societies near the plant
The PMC authorities said the plant has been set up under the solid waste management system. Under this system, wet garbage from the area is collected and used to generate electricity to light street lamps in the same area. The work for Yerwada plant was build at the cost of Rs 47 lakh and its work had started in 2010. Archana Panse, a resident of society, said, “The PMC had started the work saying it was constructing a water tank for a pumping station. We trusted them and didn’t raise any objection. After its completion they started using it as biogas plant. The foul smell from the plant is suffocating.” Ajay Balal, chairman of the society, said that they have sent nearly 50 complaints to the PMC. They got temporary relief when acted on the complaints and stopped the plant thrice in the last seven months. But society people want it completely shut. “We are facing noise pollution. Therefore we are demanding a permanent closure of the plant. I don’t understand why they set up the plant in a residential area” Balal added.
Explaining the basis behind commissioning biogas plants, Suresh Jagtap, deputy municipal commissioner and incharge of the solid waste management department, said, “We are doing this for the people’s benefit. But no one wants a plant in their area while they want us to dump the garbage they generate somewhere else. How can it be possible? The plants are set up to process garbage and generate electricity. I don’t think it is such a big problem and we are taking all possible step to minimise the noise and odour ”
Besides Yerwada, the PMC-run biogas plants are located in Model Colony, Aundh, Bavdhan, Peshwe Park, Katraj- Kondhwa road, Katraj, Hadapsar, Ghole Raod and Wanwadi-Salunkhe Vihar.