Patiala dairy shifting project stuck in mayor, state government tussle
In the first phase of the Patiala dairy shifting project, of 257 dairies, 141 were to be shifted; mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu said the MC had already spent ₹15 crore on the project
Patiala The much-hyped dairy shifting project, a major need first conceived in 2003 in Patiala, has become victim to the power politics and tussle between mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu and the state government. The presence of dairies within the city limits has been leading to frequent choking of sewers and resultant water-logging in the Royal City. In the first phase, of 257 dairies, 141 were to be shifted.
In October, chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had directed Patiala administration to halt the shifting, till all necessary facilities were made available at the new site. The Patiala municipal corporation has already spent nearly ₹15 crore for the development of site at Ablowal village, on the outskirts of Patiala city.
Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, who recently joined Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok congress, said the government has intentionally stalled the project only to settle scores with him. “I have also written to chief secretary Anirudh Tiwari on the reasons behind halting the project. The project is hanging fire for 17 years; it progressed only after Captain Amarinder came to power,” he claimed.
Sharma added the corporation had spent ₹15 crore on the project and it could not be wasted like this, with the government unwilling to communicate on the project.
“Eighty-four dairy owners had applied for plots at project site, of which 61 owners had been provided allotment letters before it was halted by Punjab CM,” he said.
After meeting dairy owners, Channi had issued verbal orders to former deputy commissioner Kumar Amit, asking him not to shift any dairy owner forcibly till all facilities, including proper road network, water supply connections, sewage treatment plant and other requirements are in place.
The Patiala municipal corporation (MC) had set September 30 as the deadline to shift 141 dairy farmers operating within the city to a 21-acre site at Ablowal village on the outskirts. Presently, the site is without a biogas plant, sewage treatment plant and veterinary hospital, as proposed under the ₹13.5-crore project. The dairy owners also complain that they were offered only 150-square-yard plot, which would be not adequate to run their units.
MC commissioner Vaneet Kumar said the corporation will start operations at project site only after receiving nod from the government. “The administration is holding meetings with dairy owners at its level. We are only awaiting the government’s green signal.”