Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has formed a high-powered team led by his principal secretary to visit Jamsher village in the constituency of Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh after the legislator, on Saturday, expressed his resentment against his own government against the establishment of a solid waste management project in the village.
The decision was taken after Pargat met the CM in Chandigarh for a meeting lasting 30 minutes.
"I requested the CM to take a neutral opinion on the suitability of the proposed site from a third party. Now, principal secretary to the chief minister will lead the committee that will visit Jamsher village on Saturday. Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is part of the panel as are secretaries of the local bodies department and the urban development department. They will submit a report to the CM," Pargat told HT over phone from Chandigarh.
The former hockey Olympian also accused local bodies department minister Anil Joshi of playing in the hands of bureaucracy and ignoring his repeated requests to have a rethink on the issue.
"I have apprised the CM of the dubious role of certain officers involved in the project and the adamant attitude of Joshi," he alleged.
"I am not against this project. I just want the site to be shifted as there is a dairy complex in the area and residents are already suffering due to this. I tried to convince Joshi by citing the ill-effects of the plant on locals' health. There was no answer," Pargat claimed.
Local bodies minister Anil Joshi said, "Let me clarify that the site was finalised before I became the local bodies minister. What interest can I have in setting up of the treatment plant in a village in Jalandhar? Pargat's accusations are baseless and he might be opposing the project because of political compulsions of his own. Does he not want a cleaner Jalandhar?"
He claimed that after Pargat raised the issue in the Vidhan Sabha, he had ordered the formation of a three-member committee to look into the matter, as he was minister concerned.
"All the files of the project have been approved," said Joshi, adding that in addition to forming a three-member committee he could have done