Buddha Nullah: NGOs for deferring tender for ₹650-cr project, say DPR has flaws
Suspecting flaws in planning and design of the ‘top secret’ ₹650-crore detailed project report (DPR), prepared at the state government level to rejuvenate the Buddha Nullah, several NGOs and social activists have demanded that the state government should defer the tender for which bids would be opened on Thursday (March 12).
In a letter addressed to the additional chief secretary, members of different NGOs, including president of the Naroa Punjab Manch, Faridkot; the Vigilant Citizens' Forum, the Ludhiana Ladies Care Society, the Council of Engineers among others, have demanded that the DPR should be made public and kept open for discussion for at least three months so that independent experts could also submit suggestions regarding the same.
Members of the NGOs claimed that the authorities have kept the DPR as a top secret document. Even the local authorities, including councillors, MLAs are not aware of the DPR and the steps being taken to rejuvenate nullah. Members of the Naamdhari sect also rued that while floating tender and preparing the DPR, the state authorities had also ignored the task force, which was formed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for rejuvenation of the nullah. The task force is headed by Satguru Uday Singh, chief of the sect. Earlier, mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu had also rued that the state government had floated the tender for the project without apprising them about the same.
The NGOs are expected to meet Union minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat over the issue on Thursday.
A member of the Vigilant Citizens' Forum Jaskirat Singh said even local representatives were not aware of the DPR and there are flaws in it. They appreciate the efforts being put in by the government to rejuvenate the nullah, but the efforts should go in vain and the public money should not be wasted.
If the state did not stop the process then they would also move the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as, earlier, also the state had established sewer treatment plants (STPs) in the city, which are not working properly and public money had been wasted, said Singh.
INDUSTRIAL WASTE STILL BEING ALLOWED TO FLOW TO STPs
Pointing out one of the alleged flaws in the project, activists rued the new plan again allowed 20% of industrial waste to be treated with the domestic waste in the STPs.
Industrial waste mixed with domestic waste is a major problem being faced at present as MC STPs were not able to treat the industrial waste and the machinery is getting damaged. There could be more such flaws in the DPR and the report needed to be discussed.
The MC and the PPCB have also been passing the buck to each other. The MC, in the plan submitted with the NGT, had also claimed that industrial waste was adding to the pollution in the nullah and it is also damaging the machinery.