Kochi corporation revokes Zonta Infratech's biomining contract at Brahmapuram; firm to be blacklisted

Fire & Rescue personnel working to put out the fire at Brahmapuram waste dump yard on Sunday. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Kochi corporation on Tuesday removed Zonta Infratech from the biomining contract of Brahmapuram solid waste plant.

The decision was taken at the Kochi Corporation Council meeting chaired by mayor M Anilkumar. The action was taken as the firm's reply to the corporation's showcause notice was not satisfactory. The notice sought an explanation on why it had failed in executing the task of biomining as per contract.

The corporation stated that the company will be blacklisted. The corporation will call a new tender to carry out biomining. The cost of the retender will be charged on Zonta Infratech.

The Corporation Council has tasked the Secretary to deal with pending court cases pertaining to the firm.

The action comes after it was found during an inspection conducted in the wake of the recent fire at Brahmapuram that biomining was not being carried out in a proper manner.

The contractor had not segregated the waste in the proper way. In addition, the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) that is produced after recyclable material was not removed during the biomining process at Brahmapuram.

The Kochi corporation had awarded the contract to Zonta for Rs 54 crore for carrying out biomining at Brahmapuram. Over Rs 10.5 crore has already been paid to the company.

It was earlier alleged Zonta was awarded the contract despite inadequate expertise in biomining.

The entire process of biomining the legacy waste at Brahmapuram will take nine months. A total of 95,923 tonnes of residue in the form of ash mixed with sand was generated at the waste treatment facility after the blaze in March.

The National Green Tribunal has given permission to the State Government to carry out a capping procedure of the area in a scientific manner as a temporary measure to prevent the ash from leaking into the water bodies in the area and polluting them during the monsoon.

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