Kollam: Kollam Mayor Prasanna Earnest on Tuesday said that Zonta Infratech, the controversial company involved in waste treatment at Brahmapuram, was excluded from the garbage disposal tender as it violated the contract norms.
Terming the decision to exclude Zonta Infratech as the right one, Earnest said that the company had demanded 25 per cent of the amount in advance and was not ready to submit a security deposit.
"Back in 2019/20, the corporation council decided not to continue cooperating with Zonta Infratech. It was one of the first matters to be addressed by our corporation council when it came to power in 2020. We considered the matter in the wake of a Green Tribunal ordering the Corporation to pay Rs 6 crore if the waste has not been disposed within the stipulated time frame. Finally, a decision was taken to terminate the contract," she said.
However, Zonta Infratech claimed they had withdrawn from the project on their own in Kollam. Zonta Infratech MD Rajkumar Chellappan Pillai revealed that the company, which oversees projects in 17 cities, only face issues in Kerala.
The Corporation signed a contract with Zonta Infratech in 2020 to remove garbage accumulated in Kureeppuzha Chandi Depot near Ashtamudi lake through biomining. The company also set up a plant here at a cost of Rs 6.8 crore to treat heaps of waste deposited here since 1940. However, the plant remained shut due to protest from locals.
The agreement was to remove 40,300 cubic meters of waste for Rs 3.74 crore. But as per the estimate of Zonta itself, 1,12,274 cubic meters of waste were identified here and demanded a sum of Rs 10.57 crore. They also demanded that 25 per cent of the total amount be paid in advance. However, the Corporation council rejected this demand.