Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 12
Even after getting a green signal from the high court, the setting up of the Solid Waste Management Plant (SWMP) at Bhagtanwala has become a bone of contention with the MC authorities.
The residents, who are up in arms against the authorities for installing the plant in their locality, today submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat.
They contested that Bhagtanwala site did not comply with the Municipal Solid Waste Act norms because of its close proximity with a residential area and the foodgrain market.
They demanded that the plant site should be shifted to outer limits of the city in the general interest of the residents; otherwise they would have to knock at the doors of the court.
On the other hand, the MC is all set to float tenders for the project on January 15 for it to be installed at the 24.7-acre designated site, Bhagtanwala.
Earlier, the residents had staged a protest for over 40 days and called off their agitation only after the SAD MLA, Inderbir Bolaria, assured them that the plant would not be installed in their vicinity.
MC officials claimed that all mandatory permissions had been obtained and according to the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the proposed plant would be installed within six months.
The plant would have a capacity to handle about 600-700 metric tonnes of garbage, being generated daily in the city. It would transform waste into manure, fuel cakes or residue-derived fuel, commonly known as green coal in European countries.
Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora said the decision of the location of the plant was taken at the government level and a Rs 20-crore grant had been given for the plant at Bhagtanwala.
"The plant has been proposed to be set up at Bhagtanwala only. We have procured the requisite NoCs accordingly from the departments concerned for this site only and there was no violation of the municipal norms. If the residents oppose it, they should approach the government directly,” he said.
Meanwhile, an affected resident, Sanjay Sharma, said, “We urge the DC to conduct a pollution test of the area. The truth about the unhygienic conditions we are living in will surface then.” he said.
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