Facing opposition from the locals, the proposed solid waste management facility (SWMF) on Mansa Road here hangs in the balance.
Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials once again measured the distance of the nearest water channels and residential areas from the proposed SWMF, and the engineered sanitary landfill facility (ESLF) at Mandi Khurd village on the directions of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday.
Residents of the areas near the SWMF had filed a complaint against the proposed project with the NGT.
Situated by a distance of 25 km, SWMF and ESLF are connected. Material brought to the SWMF would be converted into manure. Recyclable material like glass and steel would be sold in the market. The remaining material which can neither be composted nor recycled would be sent to the ESLF for further processing.
Locals had argued at the GNT during the hearing of the case on April 3 that SWMF should be shifted to the ESLF site as both units are connected.
The NGT wanted the authorities concerned to check the merits and demerits of the suggestion made by the residents. On Tuesday, the State Expert Appraisal Committee had visited both the sides for this purpose.
The team comprised Surinder Kumar, regional director, northern region, ministry of environment and forests; Manwinder Singh and Darshan Singh Jaidka, former chief engineers of PPCB and water supply and sanitation, respectively; Pawan Garg, chief engineer, PPCB; Bathinda executive engineer Nazar Singh; RK Garg, executive engineer, drainage; Kamal Kant, joint commissioner, Bathinda municipal corporation; and Sanjiv Gupta, SDO, Bathinda MC.
All measurements and observations being made by the committee and the PPCB were also made earlier, but locals had raised doubts over the measurements.
The residents of Joga Nagar, Harbans Nagar and Nacchattar Nagar, located within 100 metre of the proposed SWMF site, had approached the GNT last year after the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) gave the green signal to the SWMF project, which has remained in controversy since it was proposed.
The ESLF proposed at 36.8 acres of land at Mandi Khurd village is already facing an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation on allegations of a land scam.
Both plants are supposed to cater to 18 urban bodies -- Abohar, Bathinda, Budhlada, Bareta, Bhikhi, Sardulgarh, Malout, Gidderbaha, Rampura Phul, Bhucho Mandi, Goniana, Maur, Raman, Kotfatta, Sangat, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo and Tapa.