After waiting for over a month for implementing the solid waste management project in the city, Jindal Urban Waste Management Jalandhar (JUWMJ), the firm that was awarded contract for starting the plant, has threatened to pull out of the project citing repeated delays in its execution.
The solid waste management project, supposed to be started on June 14, was again delayed for 10 days after the Balmiki community and safai sevaks led by SAD leader Hans Raj Hans met deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal demanding the project be scrapped.
The project which was awarded to the company in January 2012 has failed to kickstart due to dissent by the safai karamchari union of the municipal corporation and Balmiki community leaders.
The company has bought all the equipment to run the project besides and vehicles for garbage collection and has been waiting for the green signal from the Punjab government.
Satish Kumar Sharma, JUWMJ project head, said they appointed 100 more workers on June 10 as it was assured by the government that project will start on June 14. But the project was again delayed the same day."
"We are facing a loss of Rs. 8-10 lakh per month for this project only. We are paying Rs. 60,000 parking rent for vehicles, salaries to workers and Rs. 26,000 as office rent. Our machines were getting worn out with junk," he said.
The firm had given the Municipal Corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) the deadline of July 15 to start the project or it will cancel the agreement.
"We have waited for a month but still there is no hope of starting the project. We cannot wait anymore since it is already been more than two and half years when we were awarded the project," Sharma said.
The project proposal included door-to-door collection of garbage and its scientific disposal to produce power.
The project was scheduled to be completed in July 2012 but there has been no development in this regard so far. The waste treatment plant was to be established at Jamsher village on the outskirts of Jalandhar city.
The firm is has been facing heavy financial losses for the past one year as they already have purchased tippers, carts and community bins to collect garbage.
Sharma said they had agreed to collect garbage at Rs. 315 per tonne as compares when other companies quoted over Rs. 1500 for the same quantity.
"If the MC fails to give us a positive reply this month we will cancel the agreement. We will also increase the rates according to the present prices," he added.
January 2012: JUWMJ signs agreement; project scheduled to complete in July 2012; due to formalities and problem in getting land it was slated to be started in April 2013.
April 2013: Firm hires staff, buys garbage-collection vehicles; safai sevaks protest as a result of which project gets delayed
January 2014: Government remains silent on the issue as the Lok Sabha elections were approaching and it did not want to lose votes of Balmiki community
June 9, 2014: Safai sevaks create ruckus at the press conference of local bodies minister Anil Joshi soon after he announces implementation of project; Joshi hackled and abused by safai sevaks
June 11, 2014: Government orders to start the project on June 14.
June 14, 2014: Project delayed for another 10 days after safai sevaks meet deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on June 13