Kotkapura and Faridkot municipal committees are struggling to come up with a plan of action for garbage collection and disposal. The major hurdle in the formulation of a plan in this regard is that there is no solid waste treatment plant available to the two authorities.
So, with tonnes of garbage generated every day and only limited places where this could be thrown, a crisis is staring at the more than 4 lakh population of these two towns.
The Kotkapura municipal committee dumps its garbage in the filled-up ponds under its jurisdiction as there is no alternative site. No attempt has also never been made to find another more workable site.
So, as settlements mushroom, people object to the areas around their homes being used as a garbage dump.
In August 2013, residents of Jiwan Nagar in Kotkapura had to protest for about a week to stop the municipal committee from dumping its garbage in their neighborhood pond.
"Finding a place to dump the garbage collected from the towns is a big problem because the people do not agree to rent out any land for the garbage dumping. We cannot even use the government land for this purpose as residents tend to object," a source said.
"A solid waste treatment plant is the only solution to resolve the issue of unscientific garbage dumping. It was the duty of the government to make prior arrangements to provide garbage dump sites or set up solid waste treatment plants. However, an ad hoc solution was found," said Gurdit Singh Sekhon, a Faridkot resident.
The Faridkot municipal committee has also been dumping its garbage at Machakki Khurd village for years on a four-acre government plot. However, villager raised a stink.
A solid waste treatment plant was proposed to be set up at Bir Chahal on 13 acres, but no work has been started on the land that is still unoccupied.
The Punjab government had reportedly divided the state in eight clusters under the solid waste management project to collect the garbage of about 137 cities and towns and then generate power by processing the garbage in a scientific way at treatment plants.
A project is planned in Faridkot.
"The solid waste treatment plant is the need of the hour and it should be set up as soon as possible because the garbage dumped unscientifically is harmful to the environment," said Joginder Singh Brar, an advocate from Faridkot.
"A public hearing to invite objections from the public had been held, before I took charge and the matter is with the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB)," said Mohammad Tayyab, Faridkot deputy commissioner.