To solve the issue of large amount of solid waste generated in cities, the Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a new policy to encourage business entities to utilise it for generating electricity by setting up power plants.
State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel announced the ‘Gujarat Waste to Energy Policy-2016’ during the Budget session of the Assembly. Patel said such a policy will help urban local bodies in managing their ever increasing waste piles effectively.
In addition, the policy is also aimed at reducing pollution caused by untreated solid waste. Under the policy, urban local bodies (ULBs), such as municipal corporations, will provide land on lease at a token rate of Rs 1 to business entities who wish to set up their solid waste-based power generations units, the minister said.
Further, civic bodies will bear the stamp duty on the leased land given to the plant. The policy also barred ULBs from imposing any tax/cess/royalty on the power plants, stated the policy document.
Such power plants are eligible to get these benefits from government for a period of 25 years, Patel said. ULBs will provide it’s solid waste to the power plants for free. Further, it will be the responsibility of the civic bodies to deliver the waste to the power plants in their area.
The Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission(GERC) will take into account the benefits extended to these plants while fixing the tariff rates at which the electricity will be purchased by the government from them, the document said “Such power plants will also be exempted from paying any electricity duty under this policy. We will also exempt them from paying cross subsidy surcharge as well as additional surcharge” said Patel.
According to the Minister, this policy will prove crucial in tackling the issue of solid waste disposal.