The Punjab government has urged the Centre to include the state’s solid waste management project under the Swachh Bharat Mission and immediately release Rs 53.67 crore for the state’s 3 of the total 8 such clusters planned under the project.
Seeking the funds from union minister for urban development M. Venkaiah Naidu through a written memorandum, Punjab local government minister Anil Joshi pointed out that it was a matter of record that Punjab was the first state in the country where a state level solid waste master plan was prepared. He said that National Green Tribunal (NGT) while appreciating this master plan after approving it had also issued directions to other states to follow Punjab in this regard.
As per the plan, Joshi said, the entire Punjab has been divided into 8 clusters for managing Solid Waste on scientific basis to ensure 100% coverage of urban areas. Each cluster has been planned to have an integrated solid waste management for the urban local bodies in its jurisdiction.
Three of these 8 clusters as planned, each at Bathinda, Ferozepur and Jalandhar were already under implementation stage and were approved before the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on October 2, 2014, Joshi pointed out in his communiqué to the union minister.
The total outlay of these 3 projects works to be Rs. 268.39 crore and covered almost 40% of total urban population of the state.