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Solid waste project ‘dumped’ in city



Finding no way out to break the deadlock between the people of Jamsher village and the Punjab Government for over seven years, the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) has reportedly ‘dumped’ the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) project in the city.Even though it has been seven years, both political allies in the state have failed to reach an arrangement for setting up the proposed garbage-processing plant at the site situated inside the dairy complex.While giving a “thumbs down” to SAD leader Pargat Singh, MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment, BJP leader and Punjab Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi had given the final nod to set up a 13-MW solid waste management plant at Jamsher village last year but the project could not take off till date.Joshi took the decision as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had set December 31, 2016, as the deadline for the state government to implement the solid waste management scheme in the state.Now with 2017 Assembly elections round the corner, the government seems to be in no mood to perturb its dedicated rural vote bank spread in over 9 villages that constitute the majority of the SC/ST community.Though when contacted, Mayor Sunil Jyoti said the MCJ would soon begin the process to transfer the 23 acres to Jindal Infrastructure Limited (JITF) for setting up the plant. Newly appointed CPS and area MLA Pargat Singh said he would not let such a thing happen and would even approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the decision taken by the Punjab Local Government.Due to repeated protests by the villagers led by Pargat Singh, the MCJ has so far failed to handover the land to set up an MSW plant at Jamsher village to Jindal Infrastructure Ltd, the solid waste management company.Virender Singh, cluster head, JITF, said despite the intervention by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal himself, the MCJ could not deliver facilities assured in the agreement. “We are a company having technical expertise in producing electricity from waste. We are reduced to mere lifting and transporting MSW, a work already being done by the Municipal Corporation workers. So far, we are suffering a loss around Rs 8 to 10 crore every year due to the delay in setting up of a MSW plant at Jamsher village and may have to suspend the project from this cluster in future,” said Virender Singh. With the seven-year old deadlock still persistent, MC’ s major concern involves the complete exhaustion of the Wariana dump where there is no place for the solid waste management company to dump any further garbage and the movement of its garbage lifting vehicles.With the expansion of city limits, the dump, which was earlier located around 40 km outside the municipal limits, is now situated inside the congested population of the city.

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