Minutes after local bodies minister Anil Jo s hi announced the start of the much-awaited solid waste management project for Jalandhar from June 10, unruly scenes were witnessed at the Circuit House here when Punjab Safai Majdoor Union (PSMU) activists suddenly came to the conference room and started raising slogans against the SAD-BJP government.
As soon as Joshi concluded the conference on implementation of solid waste management plant, around 50 people led by Punjab Safai Majdoor Union president Chandan Grewal created ruckus and even hurled expletives at Joshi, Badal family and the Punjab government.
The conference hall echoed with abuses and slogans such as “Anil Joshi murdabaad” that eventually forced an apparently embarrassed minister to leave the hall with officials. It, however, did not end here. When the minister was about to leave the Circuit House, some of the safai karamcharis sat down in front of his official car and others started hitting the vehicle besides raising abusive slogans against the government.
The Punjab Safai Majdoor Union is against the implementation of the solid waste plant as its members are of the opinion that it would decrease the jobs for the Balmiki community involved in cleaning work in the city.
After the agitated safai sewaks did not allow the minister to move, Joshi again had to go inside the Circuit House where he listened to the demands of the union members.
Joshi was accompanied by chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari, mayor Sunil Jyoti, BJP district chief Subhash Sood and senior de puty mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia but even t hey failed to pacify the agitators. Punjab Sewerman Employees Union president Pawan Baba said though it was a good step taken by the gover nment for development, it was unnecessary to award the contract to a private company.
The Jindal Urban Waste Management Limited has been awarded the contract.
The union members warned Joshi that if the project came in its present form, they would create violence in the city and would not even hesitate shutting down all offices of the local bodies department.
Visibly embar rassed over the way the union members threatened him, the minister while interacting with the union office-bearers regretted that they had adopted such a way to lodge the protest.
“It is unfortunate that when the gover nment is open to listen to your grudges, you are adopting such shameless way to register your opposition to the plant,” said Joshi.