Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 12
With the Mandi Board officials failing to find a contractor to handle the proposed bio-mining project at the Maqsudan sabzi mandi, heaps of garbage at the main dumping sites are only becoming bigger and taller.
Since last year, the marketing committee of the Mandi Board had conceived a plan to set up a Solid Waste Management (SWM) plant at the mandi, which is considered as one of the largest vegetable markets in the region. However, even after several months, the SWM plant couldn’t come up at the mandi. As per the earlier announcements, it was scheduled to be constructed by November, last year, but it kept on stretching and now, the execution of the proposed project still remains a far-fetched dream. To stop the foul smell emanating from the piling up garbage on a daily basis, the processing unit was to be constituted inside a closed room at the city’s largest mandi. The plant was stated to be installed on a 15,000 sq m area.
Due to the lack of sufficient dumping place at the mandi, surrounding areas are now being utilised by the fruit and vegetable dealers to get rid of their trash. The waste piled up at the mandi has now become an eyesore for residents and vendors. Owning to incessant rains and winds, the disposed garbage spreads to a larger area. When garbage gets mixed in water puddles, it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects, claim migrants residing at the mandi.
Officials of the Mandi Board said dumping sites in the district are inadequate to occupy mandi waste. So, it can’t be relocated from there.
Kamal, a fruit vendor, said: “They don’t have any specific area for dumping waste. So, they throw it out in the open, where every vendor disposes of his garbage. Sanitary workers of the Municipal Corporation, too, forget to lift the mandi waste at times.” Vendors demanded that another bin be installed around the entrance of the mandi, so that they could dispose of their garbage at a particular place.
Sukhdeep Singh, secretary, Mandi Market Committee, said: “The SWM project is apparently lying pending due to the unavailability of favourable bidding. We have been receiving bids above the fixed cost. The plant will not only process the accumulated waste, but also segregate plastic and non-biodegradable waste. Hence, we are waiting for the contractor who will bid less and reap profit from the treated waste,” Sukhdeep said.
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