The small waste treatment plant at Shivri, that has been under construction since the last seven years and has witnessed at least a dozen extensions, received yet another deadline with municipal commissioner Udairaj Singh declaring March 15 as the day the plant would start functioning.
Spread in an area of just 40 acres, the plant has been under construction since 2007 and the amount of Rs. 42 crore that has been pumped into it since, seems to have done no good in bringing it closer to its completion date.
Reason: The plant has been lying defunct due to technical reasons and infighting between Jyoti Envirotech - the agency building it - and the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC).
While Jyoti Envirotech has been making allegations of not getting support from LMC, the corporation on its part claims that the agency has been going slow just to blackmail it for increase in tripping charges before the commencement of operations.
Meanwhile, the project is moving at such a slow pace that the No Objection Certificates issued by the environment department, pollution control board and the Airport Authority of India have expired, forcing the LMC to apply again.
LMC sources say Jyoti envirotech is demanding three times more tripping charges than what they are receiving now and the corporation has in principle agreed to accept all the demands just to start the functioning of the plant.
“Yes some hike in tripping charges from Rs 562 per metric tonne to Rs. 1762 per metric tonne is awaited. But it would only be done once the plant starts operations. The project will encourage a cleaner Lucknow and a much more powerful waste disposal system in the state capital,” says additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava.
Jyoti Envirotech is also in-charge of door-to-door garbage collection in 56 wards of the city and the sites of garbage transfer stations at five locations. Sirvastava said, “Residents are already paying for garbage collections and the LMC has also agreed to increase its tripping charges. So, now they should have no reason to delay the plant. The municipal commissioner has already given a deadline of March 1 to get the plant ready.”