Even after green nod, waste management plant hangs fire

  • Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2015 21:26 IST

Even after the grant of environment clearance for the start of construction at the solid waste management plant in Dhudhar village, 22-km from the city in July, there has been no forward movement.

The Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) has failed to finalise the tender document guidelines for setting up the plant.

Patiala municipal corporation’s nodal officer for this project Rajinder Chopra said, “Around a month ago, PMIDC CEO JM Balamurugan held a meeting on the project and sought some amendments in the draft. The next meeting has not yet been called. We hope that the meeting is soon held and clear all the amended conditions before final approval to the tender document,” he added.

HT tried to reach PMIDC’s project head Brigadier RS Sahota (rtd), but he declined to reveal details. The CEO Balamurgan could not be contacted either.

Mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj said that the MC was trying its best to get the tender document cleared from PMIDC at the earliest. “The facility, once commissioned, will be a major relief for the urban towns of both Patiala and Sangrur district,” the mayor said.

Project pending since 2009

Despite its importance, the project is pending since 2009 due to one reason or other.

Earlier proposed on 40 acres, the project was squeezed to 20 acres of government land after Dhudhar panchayat refused to hand over its shamlat hand to the Patiala MC in protest against setting up the plan near their village that falls in Samana constituency.

Punjab’s senior cabinet minister Surjeet Singh Rakhra, who represents the Samana constituency, too supported the panchyat and sources feel that his intervention kept the project in abeyance for several years.

However, the project again back on track track after local bodies department decided to set up project in available land and applied for required permission from central government and other agencies. Sources said that Punjab government, about six months ago, gave an affidavit before the National Green Tribunal stating that the project would be commissioned by December 2016.

Mayor Amarinder Bajaj told HT said that with new technology in place, the available 20 acres of land was sufficient for creating a recycling waste plant for as many as 24 municipal committees and councils in two districts besides urban towns including Patiala.

“We are waiting for the tender document from PMIDC, rest all the approvals are done including from Airport Authority of India and Ministry of Environment and Forest. The moment they release us the final tender document, we will take no time issuing global tender and invite parties,” the mayor added.

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