In a development that has raised the hopes of residents to finally see the streets of Amritsar shine like those of Paris, which was the very aim of the Solid Waste Management Project, mooted in 2007, the Amritsar municipal corporation on Friday signed an agreement with a company after three failed attempts in an attempt to revive the defunct project.
On Friday, the MC finally signed the agreement with Mumbai-based Ess Ell Infrastructure Limited and its Japanese partner Hitachi Company after three failed attempts at doing so. The officials of these companies had failed to show up at the previous meeting held on March 8 to sign the agreement, while the attempt did not fructify at the meetings held prior to that.
The committee that has been constituted for this purpose is headed by Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and includes joint commissioner Surinder Singh. Arora said the agreement for the proposed SWMP was finally signed with the Mumbai-based firm and its Japanese partner in the presence of the MC authorities.
He said out of a total of 65 wards of Amritsar, the work of cleaning 52 wards has been allotted to these companies. “The remaining wards, including those inside the walled city area, shall be cleaned by the employees of the MC, which has a dedicated staff of more than 2,500 sanitation workers,” he added further.
Arora said the company has already started the survey of these 52 wards and shall soon commission its machines to clean the same after it finds out their exact sanitary needs. “The company has been asked to press its machinery into action as soon as it is through with the survey,” he said.
The mayor added that in the days to come new machines, including four JCB machines, tractor trolleys and tippers shall be added to the army of the existing machines available with the MC. Talking about the proposed mechanised night sanitation, he added that the MC was likely to proceed further with the proposal, but it was still not satisfied with the high rates being quoted by the company concerned.
He said the companies undertaking the work in Ludhiana and Mohali, were doing so at very economical charges, while the company that had evinced interest in the project had demanded more than `2.75 lakh per month for the same, which was not acceptable to the MC authorities.
Under the proposed mechanical sweeping, there is a proposal to not just sweep but also wash the approach roads to the Golden Temple and the surrounding areas at night.
The project would later cover the roads in the rest of the city too.
“From what I have come to know is that the companies handling the work at Ludhiana and Mohali are working only three days in a week, while the company that is in talks with us has quoted this amount for working all seven days a week,” he said.