Call it the indolence of the municipal corporation (MC) authorities, or their laxity. The MC on Monday failed to uphold its promise of floating tenders for the proposed solid waste management project, though the Punjab and Haryana high court gave its nod to the project, and six months' time to hire a firm.
On September 14, barely hours after member of parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu had exposed the lack of development in the city by visiting sites where foundation stones of different projects had been laid, but had not progressed beyond that point, the apparently mortified MC authorities had hastened to announce that the tenders for the waste disposal project would be floated on September 23.
In a press release issued a few hours later, municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda had said the court had ordered cancellation of previous contracts, which were to be awarded to new contractors. The new tenders had been prepared and would be floated on September 23, he had added.
The project, with an estimated cost of `72 crore, would entail door-to-door collection of garbage, which is currently being done through tractor trolleys and a few traditional means, including donkeys, which is not very effective in keeping the city garbage-free.
Sources said more than 600-tonne garbage is being lifted from various locations across the city daily. This is dumped either at the Bhagtanwala dump site, or on vacant plots. The waste is incinerated inside the garbage bins, annoying environment lovers, who have urged the MC to discontinue the practice, considering the threat posed to the environment.
In spite of objections and appeals by various environmental NGOs to shift the location from the Bhagtanwala dump to another site, the MC proposes to erect the solid waste management plant at Bhagtanwala, where a grain market is situated quite close to the garbage dump. The proposed plant would handle 650 tonne of garbage daily, of which more than 600 tonne would be from Amritsar, and the rest from Tarn Taran, Jandiala and Patti.
Kharbanda said the consultant from Delhi had been given 10 days' time to float the tender.
"The tender for the proposed solid waste management project would be floated within this week," he claimed.