Why doesn’t Gurgaon have a proper dumping yard is the question that a parliamentary panel has posed before the government. It also told the government to fast-track completion of a proposed integrated landfill site there.
The committee’s concern comes close on the heels of a Hindustan Times series on the lack of basic amenities in Gurgaon.
“The Committee note with concern that,” the panel that recently tabled its report in Parliament said, “… in Gurgaon the problem of unmanaged municipal solid waste has created an uproar.”
It said the Gurgaon-Faridabad road has become “the most preferred site for dumping garbage” in the absence of a landfill site in Gurgaon.
There are reasons for this concern. Here is a much-hyped township — a supposed symbol of rising India - with a big enough “pull” factor to have increased its population three times in seven years. Gurgaon — figures cited by the government show — had just over three lakh residents in 2001 and has 10 lakh people now. But it has no landfill site to cater to this huge population.
The government has conceded to the House panel that the increased population has stretched the infrastructure facilities, including solid waste management, there.
But their claim that a landfill site will come up at a chosen 30-acre plot at Bandhwari village near Gurgaon-Faridabad road, in about 18 months of the release of funds to the municipal authorities, has failed to impress the committee.
Citing example of a private company in Surat and Rajkot districts of Gujarat that efficiently manages waste without municipal authorities paying a penny to it, the committee even wondered why Delhi or Gurgaon could not replicate such a model.
The Ministry of Urban Development, which formulates broad policy guidelines on urbanisation, has been constrained to admit that “Gujarat is, of course, very forward-looking”, perhaps meaning — by implication — that Gurgaon and Delhi are not!
HT has been reporting on — among other things — the absence of a landfill site in Gurgaon. Recently, villagers around Bandhwari had protested against the construction of the landfill site there — something that up-market DLF residents have been pushing for.
Just days back, bulldozers became active at Bandhwari, leveling the ground for the landfill site.
Under pressure, the Haryana government has now said the Bandhwari landfill site — which will cater to both Gurgaon and Faridabad — will be ready in nine months time.
(Inputs from Sanjeev K Ahuja)