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Ahead of Doon waste plant launch, BJP takes steps to avert protests at CM function

The BJP has jumped into action to avert any “embarrassment” to it and its government when the chief minister inaugurates Uttarakhand’s first waste processing plant on Dehradun’s outskirts on January 23

dehradun Updated: Jan 21, 2018 21:53 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
waste plant launch,DMC,Shishambara
Locals are protesting against the setting up of STP in their vicinity. (HT File)

The BJP has jumped into action to avert any “embarrassment” to it and its government when the chief minister inaugurates Uttarakhand’s first waste processing plant on Dehradun’s outskirts on January 23.

The Dehradun Municipal Corporation’s (DMC) waste management facility, located at Shishambara, around 20 km from Dehradun, had begun its trial run on December 1 and will begin full-fledged functioning on Tuesday.

The project comprises a waste processing plant and a scientific landfill (or waste disposal) site.

Amid concerns that the ceremony was likely to be a stormy one as locals and village representatives have for long been protesting against the plant in their vicinity, the BJP’s Dehradun city unit convened a “very important meeting” to discuss preparations at its Parade Ground office on Sunday.

Office bearers of the BJP Dehradun unit, heads of all frontal organisations, local corporators and panchayat representatives of villages that have recently been incorporated into the DMC limits were present during the meeting.

The participants were given a target of “gathering more than 3000 people” to make the occasion - where many dignitaries including chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will take part - a “grand success”.

Party insiders said the possibility of protest by locals on the inaugural day and the ways to avert the same were also discussed.

“The current scenario (of protest against the plant) on ground zero and ways to ensure that no embarrassing or unpleasant situation crops up in front of the CM (on the inauguration day) were among the concerns discussed,” a senior BJP corporator, who was present in the meeting, said.

It is worth recalling that construction of the waste processing plant itself had begun on a stormy note.

During the plant’s foundation stone laying ceremony on October 3, 2016, hundreds of villagers had gathered outside the site in Shishambara to protest against the waste plant, which they alleged would “degrade environment besides also causing stink and spread of diseases in their neighbourhood”.

The protestors, who were laced with sticks and stones, later began pelting stones on Dehradun mayor Vinod Chamoli and civic body officials, due to which the police had to use mild force to control the situation.

Women threw broken bangles on the civic body staff and some even tried to climb the fence of the site, threatening to “commit suicide” if the plant work took off.

BJP’s Dehradun city president Vinay Goyal, however, asserted that the party was “hopeful” that no protests will erupt on Tuesday.

“The waste processing plant is the first of its kind in Uttarakhand and it’s a matter of pride for not just Dehradun residents but also for the entire state. I hope people will understand this fact and there will be no protests on the day,” Goyal said, adding that “some people with vested interests were trying to provoke locals”.

Goyal said the meeting was held to ensure that the inauguration programme by the CM turns out to be a “huge success”.

“At least 50 workers from each municipal ward of Dehradun will take part and we are hoping that 3000-4000 people will take part in the event,” he said.

First Published: Jan 21, 2018 21:53 IST