The standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) has refused clearance to the solid waste management project at Jhuriwala village near Sector 25, Panchkula. The Haryana government has now been asked to look for an alternative as the Jhuriwala site is barely 140 metres from the Khol-hi-Raitan wildlife sanctuary.
In a January 21 meeting in New Delhi, the minutes of which have been made available now, the board panel held, “Project proponents informed that engineering design and technology for the project [are] yet to be finalised. It was agreed that the proposal can be considered by the standing committee if the technical and the capacity details of the project are made available. State was advised to locate the project away from the sanctuary limits and resubmit the proposal with the details, once worked out.”
Aditya Sharma, executive engineer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), said on Tuesday, “We are yet to get the minutes of meeting. We take further appropriate action after that.”
Panchkula, as such, has no garbage dump and has for years been depositing the 122 tonnes of waste generated everyday in a ground in Sector 23 near residential areas. Residents of Sectors 23 and 25 have been opposing that before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) because of the stench and possibility of disease outbreak.
Advocate Hemant Sarin, a resident of Sector 25, who has been fighting the case in NGT, reacted, “I am glad that the NBWL has not cleared the proposal of HUDA to set up the waste management plant at Jhuriwala. The project has not been cleared for both the reasons over which I have been agitating for three years. One there was no proper project planned. Second, the site chosen was ill-suited. However, officials failed to appreciate these concerns so far.” He added, “HUDA was trying to bulldoze this project through without any workable design or technology.”
The Jhuriwala site had been granted environmental clearance in March 2014, but the state wildlife board had sent the case to the national panel. As it turns out, now a fresh site will have to be selected and the entire procedure of obtaining several approvals and sanctions for that could, in fact, take years.