A year ago, South Korea proposed a grant and loan assistance of 313.6 million (313.6 million) US dollars to the Chittagong City Corporation for the development of waste management in the city. This is supposed to be supported in two phases through the Korea Environment Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) under the Ministry of Environment of the country. Chasik reported the matter to the Ministry of Local Government. However, even after a year, the ministry has not yet approved. So Chasik is unable to accept the ‘tempting’ offer.
However, in the meantime, the South Korean company completed a ‘pre-feasibility study’ on what to do in waste management under their grant and loan assistance scheme. The report of the study is scheduled to be formally presented on Monday. However, it was informally informed by KEITI to Chasik in the last week of last month. At the same time, permission to conduct a feasibility study is sought from Chasik. In view of this, Chasik gave a letter to the Ministry of Local Government in the first week of this month regarding the approval of KEITI to conduct a feasibility study. However, the ministry is keeping silent on this too. City Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury confirmed to Azadi that the proposal has been submitted to the Ministry. He said, I have not received the approval yet. We are trying in various ways to improve the city’s waste management. Our activities are being conducted with emphasis on waste management to make a beautiful and clean city.
It is known that Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury visited South Korea from January 10 to 16, 2023, Chasik Chief Engineer Md. Rafiqul Islam and Chief Cleaning Officer Muhammad Abul Hashem and one of the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate. At that time Chasik handed over a draft of a Project Concept Proposal (PCP). For the implementation of the grant project, the project proposal was submitted to the Korean Embassy in Dhaka by February 20. Chasik told the ministry on January 25 of the same year.
According to Chasik, KEITI intends to support the project in two phases. Of their proposed $313.6 million, $13.6 million is a grant. The remaining $300 million is debt. In view of the decision of the United Nations Climate Conference-27, this loan will be given as a green fund. Chasik will get 40 years to repay this loan. The grace period will be 15 years. That is, the loan must be repaid after 15 years of project implementation. The interest amount is only 0.1 percent.
An official of Chasik, on condition of anonymity, said that if the project is implemented, there will be a big change in waste management. Moreover, such a long repayment period is rarely available. Due to such a long period, there is a possibility that the loan will be waived at some point. So it’s a tempting proposition.
It is learned that as per KEITI’s proposal, MRF (Material Recovery Facility) facility will be created under the grant scheme. Plastic, cardboard, paper (newspaper, magazine, office paper, mixed paper), glass bottles, jars, aluminum and steel cans along with metal containers collected through this facility will be separated through machines. They will then be compacted at the material recovery plant and used as needed.
Small-scale bio-gas plants will be set up under the grant scheme. Campaign to increase public participation and training of cleaners at various levels, conscious collection of waste, provision of modern equipment for door to door collection.
Development of sanitary landfill at Arefin Nagar, closure of a garbage dump, faeces treatment plant, food waste plant, MRF plant and large scale bio gas plant will be implemented under the project with loan assistance. Arefin Nagar Landfill will be further expanded to become a sanitary landfill. A treatment plant will be set up there. If the toxic water that comes out of the waste gets into the ground, it also pollutes the ground water. Treatment will be done to prevent contamination.
Besides, under the loan assistance scheme, compactors (special vehicles) will be provided for waste transportation. Collection procedures will also be improved. Besides, the vegetable (leftover) and food waste collected by cleaners in the food waste plant will be utilized in two ways. One part of this will be made into fertilizer and the other part will be made into bio gas.
Commander Latiful Haque Kazmi Azadi, the chief cleaning officer of Chasik, told Azadi, “We have two garbage dumps. Of these, Halishahar is blocked. South Korean company offers landfill development. They will give a presentation tomorrow (today).
According to Chasik sources, more than three thousand tons of waste is produced in the city daily. Out of this, Chasik collects two thousand tons of waste. These collected wastes are dumped in two separate landfills (Borjagar) in Chasik, Bayezid and Halishahar. However, these two landfills are gradually becoming unusable.