A temporary solution seems to have been found for disposal of the garbage with municipal corporation officials shifting garbage from the Bhagatwalan area and dumping it in the Fatahpur area, 10 km on the outskirts. Fearing protests, MC officials resorted to the shifting of the garbage in the presence of the police.
The action follows Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's intervention in the matter on Wednesday, when he asked officials to find a solution to the matter at the earliest.
Amritsar municipal corporation commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, "We have started dumping garbage at Fatahpur and around 300 trolleys were shifted on Friday. It will take us five days to completely clean up the city and shift the garbage. MC officials will be working on Sunday as well."
He added once the garbage was shifted, the streets would be washed. Special attention would be paid to clean areas around the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala Bagh, all important places and educational institutes, he added.
"The city gave a pathetic appearance as garbage had not been lifted for years. The MC will soon construct walls and beautify areas near the Bhagtanwala dump so that the residents there can get respite," he claimed.
The backdrop to the garbage problem
In 2014, the residents of Bhagtanwala raised a stink over the dumping of the city's garbage into their area for years altogether. This dumping had created a mess in the area and residents' health was suffering due to the dumping.
Sensing the emotive and political potential of the issue, SAD chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Bolaria supported the residents and announced that no garbage would be allowed to be dumped in the area.
This led to wide-spread dumping of garbage at any open space, resulting in chaos and great public inconvenience.
Then the MC found Fatahpur to dump the garbage, but even this was objected to by BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, who claimed that no garbage would be allowed to be dumped at Fatahpur.
Hence, for days the lifting of garbage stopped and city turned into a mess. On Wednesday, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal asked Amritsar DC Ravi Bhagat to get the issue resolved and Fatahpur was finalised as the dumping site for the garbage. The city generates 600 tonnes of garbage a day.