Patiala: Saman waste management plant facing roadblock of vote bank politics | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Patiala: Saman waste management plant facing roadblock of vote bank politics

punjab Updated: Apr 12, 2015 20:32 IST
Navrajdeep Singh

Even as the entire country debates the issue of how to acquire land for projects, here is one project that has the land, but 'political concerns of vote bank' seems to have become a roadblock before it for the time being at least.

The project is the setting up a solid waste management project at Dhudhar village, 20-km from Patiala, in Samana assembly constituency.

This now seems to have run into rough weather with first the area MLA and also the cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra opposing the idea. Sensing the sensitive nature of the project, the Congress too said on Sunday that it would also not allow the project to come up.

Interestingly, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had especially visited Turkish capital, Istanbul, in 2013 to collect information on the working of the solid waste management project.

However, villagers have been against the idea since it was first floated apprehending that it would affect their livelihood.

Consider the current status. Two days after Rakhra supported the villagers against the project, Patiala (urban) MLA Preneet Kaur has also threatened to launch a protest and assured anti solid waste action committee, formed by the villagers, of all help.

Preneet's son Raninder Singh had contested unsuccessfully against Rakhra during the 2012 assembly elections from Samana.

In an informal meeting with delegation of anti-solid waste action committee, Preneet termed the project 'anti-people'.

"This government is anti-people. Instead of making use of 20 acres of fertile land, the state authorities have planned to dump garbage of 32 municipalities in the village," she alleged.

"The matter is related to the health and future of generations of dozens of villages. The government and SAD leaders instead are mocking the villagers," she claimed.

She added that instead of fertile lands, the government should propose such projects on barren lands, away from populated areas.
"All the affected villages fall in Samana constituency. The state authorities must come up with new plans to set up the plant at new location," she claimed.

Meanwhile, Rakhra has said that he would approach Punjab chief minister and ask for the plant to be shifted to some other site, since villagers were against it.

So, for now the plant which is likely to affect more than dozen villages but is considered to be vital to ensure proper waste management in the area is likely to be embroiled in controversy created by dynamics of vote bank politics, with both the Congress and the area MLA, from the Akali Dal, expressing their displeasure against it.

The Patiala municipal corporation already acquired 20 acre of land in Dhudhar last year and submitted the detail project report to the state government.