A day after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a fine of `50,000 and `10,000 on Delhi-based JITF urban waste management company and sub-divisional officer (SD), MCB, Sandeep Gupta, respectively, labourers on Wednesday started digging pits and water tankers were rushed to the spot to initiate the plantation drive at the site proposed for the setting up of a solid waste treatment plant.
In a sharp comment, the tribunal had expressed doubts over the intentions of the MCB and observed, "We have doubts over the corporation's basic bona fides to carry on this project."
The tribunal directed the MCB to complete the plantation around the site within a week, failing which a fine of `1 lakh will be imposed on two corporation officials Sandeep Gupta and AK Kansal and the private firm engaged in setting up of the plant.
MCB officials, including commissioner Dalwinderjit Singh, who visited the spot, said that about 540 saplings planted earlier are alive and more than 1,500 will be planted within the stipulated time period. The saplings will be planted within the 15-metre radius of the 20 acres of the site proposed for the plant.
"The corporation has engaged officials of the forest department to get an expert advice on the type of plants to be planted and the mechanism to be adopted for the same," said the commissioner.
The MCB officials, during a hearing before the tribunal on July 9, had falsely informed the tribunal that a green belt has been developed around the site.
The tribunal had asked both the parties to come up with proof to show that whether the green belt has actually been developed or not. After seeing the photographs, the tribunal had scolded the MCB officials and the private firm for providing misleading information to the court and imposed fine.
Meanwhile, residents of the area on the Bathinda-Mansa road, where the plant is to come up, led by Captain Mall Singh, have approached the tribunal demanding that the plant be shifted to some other place as it was not appropriate to set up it in a residential area.