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Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, July 23, 2013
Deciding the case pending since 2006, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Amritsar municipal corporation to award contract to set up municipal solid waste management plant (MSWMP) for the city within six months period.
The division bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Fateh Deep Singh also directed that the municipal corporation shall apply for authorisation in respect of its site at Bhagtanwala but the grant of such authorisation shall not be a condition precedent for awarding contract to set up municipal solid waste management plant.

It was further ordered that the successful contractor shall be bound to obtain permission or to carry forward the request of the municipal corporation to obtain authorisation from the stage, it may be pending at the time of grant of contract.

Till such time, the contract is awarded, the corporation shall make all efforts to keep the municipal limits free from garbage and ensure its disposal so as to minimise the hazards that the residents may suffer, the court said.

The directions came while disposing of petition filed by the pollution control committee, Amritsar.

The petitioner had approached the high court in 2006 for directing the state government authorities, including the municipal corporation, Amritsar to shift the dumping place of municipal solid waste and dead animals to an authorised and approved place in accordance with the provisions of the municipal solid wastes (management and handling) rules, 2000 and for scientific disposal of the municipal solid wastes and dead animals.

However, deciding the petition filed by M/s AKC Developers Ltd challenging the cancellation of its contract for disposal of the municipal solid waste, the court said that contract awarded to the company could not take off for as the company insisted on possession of land without obtaining authorisation under the rules.

The court said that such authorization was mandatory. During the pendency of the petition in the high court, the municipal corporation on May 5, 2009, granted contract of processing and disposal of the municipal solid waste to M/s AKC Developers Ltd, but such contract was cancelled on May 28, 2010.