Under the Punjab government’s Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA), set up for tackling the urban waste disposal problem, Jalandhar will be the fourth cluster in the state where SWMA will start operating from November 5.
Under the project, electricity will be generated and fertiliser prepared from the garbage collected from houses in the city.
Local bodies minister Anil Joshi has given a green signal to the project in a bid to give a clean and green look to various cities of Punjab. He said the Jalandhar cluster under SWMA would start its operations from November 5. Earlier, the SWMA project was delayed due to a stiff opposition by sweeper unions.
However, the local bodies minister said that it would operate under public private partnership (PPP) mode and the company representatives would be involved in door-to-door collection of garbage in Jalandhar. State-of-the-art technology will be used to sort out garbage in a manner so that it could be used for different purposes after proper processing, he said.
Satish Kumar Sharma, project manager, Jindal Urban Waste Management, Jalandhar, said, “We have been given four months to implement the project in the entire district. There are a total of 60 wards in the district and initially we will take up four to six wards to implement the project.”
Once the project is implemented, the firm will start door-to-door collection of waste and ensure proper segregation of waste. The company will also carry out the disposal of waste from various dumps in the city to the area where the solid waste management plant will be set up.
Meanwhile, there are two major problems that are to be sorted out before the successful implementation of the project. Earlier, the site for installing the project was Jamsher village but the local residents protested against setting up of the project and hence it was decided to shift the site.
Secondly, the sweeper union is still angry over the idea of awarding the work to a private company and they have threatened to carry out a district-wide stir in case the project is implemented.
The Jalandhar municipal corporation has called its house meeting on November 4 and the civic body in its agenda has proposed to declare the new site for the implementation of the solid waste management plant.
On the other hand, the civic body authorities and employees of the firm claim that workers will not face any loss.
“There are few workers from different communities who are currently involved in door-to-door collection of garbage in the district. They are not organised and work on daily wage basis. Once our company starts waste collection and segregation process, we will take these workers on our roll and provide them all the facilities under the law besides paying medical expenses and provident fund,” Satish said.
Out of eight clusters in Punjab, the solid waste management body is currently functional in Ludhiana, Bathinda and Ferozepur. Land has been earmarked and tenders floated for the Pathankot cluster as well. The state government is working to find suitable land for the Mohali cluster and directions have already been issued to departments concerned in this regard. For Patiala and Amritsar, tenders have been floated after a detailed status report.