The Rs 130-crore solid waste management project, referred to as one of the dream projects of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, has been hanging fire for the past two and half years, courtesy political gimmickry and indecision.
The project, which was awarded to Jindal Urban Waste Management, Jalandhar, Limited (JUWMJL) in January 2012, has not been executed due to protest by safai karamchari unions and leaders of the Balmiki community.
The purpose behind the execution of this project was to start door-to-door collection of collect for its scientific disposal and produce 10 megawatt electricity which further would be supplied to power grids in Jalandhar.
The company workers have to distribute blue and green dustbins for segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage in the households to manage the solid waste.
About six compactors, 19 Tata Ace, 70 rickshaws, 184 metal bins, 19 community bins and about 1.20 lakh dustbins have to be distributed in all the wards, whereas 81 rickshaw pullers, 22 light motor-vehicle drivers, 43 waste collectors, seven heavy motor-vehicle drivers and 12 waste collectors were to be deputed to manage the garbage collection.
The workers would have to pick the garbage from 7 am to 3 pm daily and they also have to pick garbage from 70 municipal corporation-designated open garbage dumps in the city.
In the absence of door-to-door collection of garbage, heaps of garbage are piling up at the Wariana dumpsite spreading over several kilometers.
Residents dump the waste on vacant plots which results in health hazards. Moreover, garbage scattered on the roads seeps into sewage pipelines which results in blockades and waterlogging, especially during the monsoons, thus causing inconvenience to the residents and commuters alike.
If the project is executed, a waste treatment plant will be established at Jamsher village on the outskirts of Jalandhar city and all the waste will be decomposed to produce electricity.
The MC has already reserved 25 acres of land to set up the solid treatment plant at Jamsher village. JUWMJL project head Satish Kumar Sharma said they were ready to collect garbage with the equipment. "We are waiting for the government's green signal for two years," he said.
Meanwhile, the firm is facing heavy financial losses of Rs 8-10 lakh every month for one year as they already have purchased tippers, carts and community bins for door-to-door collection of garbage, but they are lying unused ever since.