Delhi-based NGO to fight for cause of Bhagtanwala residents

  • Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2015 21:24 IST
File photo of the garbage dump yard at Bhagtanwala in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

While the Amritsar municipal corporation is yet to finalise the proposal of the solid waste treatment plant at the Bhagtanwala dump in the meeting of its finance and contract committee (FNCC), a Delhi-based NGO has brought a ray of hope to the residents of Bhagtanwala, as it has decided to fight for their cause.

The representatives of the NGO—Toxics Link—would visit the dump on Sunday, where they would interact with the residents of the area to know about their problems, besides holding meetings in this regard with the NGOs in Amritsar.

The residents of the area have time and again reiterated that they do not want an incinerator-based plant in the area and have also sought the relocation of the proposed project to the city outskirts.

Giving details, Sandeep Kurl of Saanjhi Sangharsh Committee, said the Delhi-based NGO’s fight was aimed against incinerator-based treatment plants across India and abroad. “The organisation also has links abroad and is dealing with similar environmental concerns in other countries as well,” he said.

“The representatives of the NGO is also likely to visit the nearby Bhagtanwala grain market as it is worried about the reports that the world famous aromatic basmati rice of Amritsar is sold here,” Kurl said.

He added that at a time when farmers were holding protests, seeking compensation for their damaged crops, the visit of the Delhi-based NGO to the Bhagtanwala grain market, could have a negative impact on the procurement of the world famous basmati, which was stacked here for sale.

“The representatives would prepare their report and send it to their headquarters. If the world comes to know that the basmati rice that it loves to consume is sold quite close to a garbage dump, the sales of basmati would automatically plummet,” Kurl maintained.

Meanwhile, the MC has postponed the meeting of the FNCC, which was earlier scheduled for Monday. “The meeting has been rescheduled for a later date,” said municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal.

Mumbai-based Ess Ell Infrastructure, the company which had submitted a financial bid in this regard, had proposed costs to the tune of `2,250 per tonne per day-- `1620 per day for carry and transfer (CNT) of solid waste and `630 per day for processing and disposal (PND) for the project. Unsatisfied with this, the MC authorities had urged them to reconsider their rates.

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