After a prolonged verbal duel and blame game over the garbage dump issue in the holy city, the SAD and the BJP leaders finally sat together on Saturday to find a solution to the problem that has not only left the civic conditions in Amritsar in an absolute mess, but also led to cracks in the alliance.
However, the meeting, which continued for over an hour and saw both the SAD and the BJP leaders blaming each other for the mess, failed to reach any solution on the issue that has brought enormous trouble to the common man.
It is learnt that deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat had taken the initiative to make leaders from both the parties sit together to resolve the issue.
The SAD leaders were led by chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Bolaria and the BJP leaders by Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi.
It was after long that leaders of both the parties sat on a common platform in Amritsar. The city has been witnessing the SAD and the BJP leaders having a go at each other on the issue for several days.
The Akali leaders have been blaming Anil Joshi and mayor Bakshi Ram Arora for failing to get the issue resolved whereas the BJP leaders have been asking the SAD leaders to talk to the Chief Minister and the deputy chief minister over the issue, as the dump was under their purview.
In Saturday's meeting, various proposals were made to resolve the issue and several ideas came up, but it ended without reaching at any agreeable solution.
It is learnt that CPS Bolaria made it clear that he will not allow the dumping of garbage any longer at Bhagtanwala, the area that falls in his assembly constituency Amritsar South.
Bolaria also alleged that nobody has bothered to look into the issues faced by the people living in his area as the garbage of the entire city is being dumped their for several years.
On the other hand, the BJP leaders claimed that garbage was being dumped at Bhagtanwala for several years and if the SAD leaders have an alternative site in mind, they should reveal it.
However, after long deliberations, the meeting ended without a solution.
Meanwhile, sources said that another meeting between the leaders of the two alliance partners can take place again soon.
It is learnt that putting his foot down on the issue, Bolaria asked the administration to take immediate steps of setting up a boundary wall around the dump, make the area green and take all corrective measures for immediate relief.
WHAT THEY SAY
We took part in the meeting after the DC took an initiative. One thing is certain that I will not allow anyone to throw garbage at the existing Bhagtanwala dump. All these years, the people of my area have been facing themes and the authorities never woke up. I won't say much, but all those who head the departments concerned are responsbible.
Inderbir Bolaria, CPS (SAD)
The garbage dump has been in Bhagtanwala for many years. Today, if Mr Bolaria wants that garbage should not be thrown there, we just want to know where can it go. The civic condition of the city is in an absolute mess. We must not politicise the issue and reach a solution in public interest.
Naresh Sharma, district BJP chief
City in Mess
As the SAD-BJP mess continues over the issue, garbage heaps continue to pile up all over the city. You cannot spot a single road where one cannot find a garbage heap.
This situation has not only made the conditions pathetic but alos made the mockery of Prime Minister's much hyped 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan'.
The SAD and BJP leaders are exchanging statements since past many days but a solution is not reached. Amid entire tussle, it's the people who continue to suffer.