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No solution to mountains of waste in sight

Lakhs of tonnes of garbage piling up at Wariana village as processing project remains non-starter

No solution to mountains of waste in sight

The Wariana dump is popularly known as garbage mountain of Jalandhar. Photo: Malkiat Singh



Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, May 25

Commuters passing via Wariana village on Jalandhar-Kapurthala road daily get to see huge mounds of dumped solid waste spread across several acres of land and estimated to be weighing lakhs of tonnes.

Every day 500 tonnes of more waste gets added up here. For the past nearly a decade, the Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar, has been mulling one plan after the other to process this waste but to no avail.

The last attempt was a biomining project which was conceptualised in 2019 and was to be executed from April 2022. This project, too, was terminated last month by the Municipal Corporation as the private company with which the agreement had been signed for Rs 32.11 crore had only set up a shed.

As the local bodies elections are expected in the coming months and the waste management is certainly going to remain an issue, the officials concerned have been directed by the state government to speed up the process to float tenders for the same project afresh. June 9 has been fixed as the last date for filing tenders.

Even as the MC is going ahead with roping in a new player, nothing has been done on ground to ensure proper segregation of waste, improving garbage collection system, undertaking trainings of rag pickers, creating the data base of outsourced staff and localities being covered and improving the dumping process. The fresh, non-segregated waste is still being dumped over the old piles of waste at the site.

Citing reasons for the same, AS Dhaliwal, who is handling the project under Smart City Mission, said, “We had initially rolled out the project as a completely outsourced model estimated at Rs 60 crore. The company was to make all the provisions and get Rs 950 for disposing off every single ton of the waste from the site. But on the government intervention, the project design was changed to CapEx-OpEx model and the amount was halved to Rs 32.11 crore.

As per the plan, the company was to lift 7.5 lakh tonnes of waste in two years at a speed of processing 65 tonnes in an hour. A plant was to be set up for Rs 4.93 crore, which the company failed to do. We were to provide power connection, tippers and excavators etc., which we did well in time. We extended the project four times by three months giving ample time to it to resume work but it failed and we had not other option but to terminate the contract.”

He added, “We are hopeful of getting a good response again as we have floated fresh tenders.”

Fresh tenders invited

As the local bodies elections are expected soon, and the waste management is certainly going to remain an issue, officials concerned have been directed by the state government to speed up the process to float tenders for the same project afresh. June 9 has been fixed as the last date for filing tenders.

Biomining failed

The last attempt was a biomining project which was conceptualised in 2019. This project, too, was terminated last month by the MC as the private company with which the agreement had been signed for Rs 32.11 crore had only set up a shed.

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