The municipal corporations of Gurgaon and Fardiabad and the National Building Constructions Corporation (NBCC) finally commenced work on Gurgaon’s very first solid waste management facility in Bandhwari village, just off the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road under heavy police presence on Tuesday. Fearing fierce opposition from locals, police fortified the site.
The 30.5-acres site is land that belonged to the panchayat of Badhwari and was acquired by the Haryana government. But the panchayat did not accept the award of Rs 7.7 crore and opposed the plant fearing it would cause stink and pollution.
Rajiv Sharma, municipal commissioner of Gurgaon, claimed the plant that had already recieved clearance from the Environment Ministry and Pollution Control Board would be a state-of-the-art facility and would not cause ill odour or pollution.
“The ultramodern facility will take about nine months to complete. According to consultants NBCC, the inert material left for dumping will be merely 15 per cent of the total garbage treated. The rest will be utilised. NBCC told us a plant on the same technology is functioning in Rajkot. People even go for outings there, have beer in the green belt around it.”
According to officials, the plant will have a daily capacity of 1000 tonnes of garbage and would be surrounded by a green stretch. It will cater to the needs of both Faridabad and Gurgaon and the expenditure is to be borne by the Faridabad Municipal Corporation. Earlier the plan was to set up a separate solid waste management plant for Faridabad for which NBCC was appointed consultant. The site was just 7 km away from the current one.
But after Hindustan Times highlighted the plight of DLF City (Phase I) residents with garbage being dumped illegally near their locality and prominently published that Gurgaon lacked a solid waste management plant in its ‘Gurgaon Collapsing’ series, the state government decided to develop the facility jointly by the corporations of Gurgaon and Faridabad. The development time was reduced from two years to nine months as NBCC had better technology.
Yet, villagers do not seem convinced. Surajpal, Badhwari’s village chief, said officials took control of the site, drawing away villagers on some pretext. “All passages to the site were heavily manned by police. We will decide a course of action tomorrow,” he said.