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Congress lashes out at BJP for ‘saffronizing’ waste plant’s launch

The construction work of the plant started in October 2016 after a delay of about eight years since the project’s conceptualisation in 2008.

dehradun Updated: Jan 23, 2018 21:21 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,TS Rawat,BJP
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurates waste processing plant at Shishambara on Dehradun's outskirts on Tuesday(HT Photo)

The Congress lashed out at the ruling BJP for what it termed “saffronising” of Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony of the long-awaited waste processing plant on Dehradun outskirts.

The plant – the first such waste management facility in Uttarakhand- was inaugurated by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, almost 10 years after it was first approved in 2008. It is located at Shishambara, around 20 kms from Dehradun.

The construction work of the plant started in October 2016 after a delay of about eight years since the project’s conceptualisation in 2008.

When the foundation stone of the project had been laid in 2016, the Congress was helming the government in the state, whereas the BJP took over the reins of Uttarakhand in March last year.

The Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC), which leads the project, has been dominated by the BJP.

“Our (Congress) government had supported the initiation of the waste plant despite heavy protests from locals in Shishambara at that time. But they (BJP) chose to keep us (Congress leaders) away from the ceremony and saffronized the entire ceremony by limiting it to BJP workers,” former Congress MLA Rajkumar said.

Rajkumar (who goes by a single name) was present as the erstwhile Congress government’s representative during the stormy foundation stone laying ceremony of the project on October 3, 2016, which had witnessed stone pelting from locals protesting against the plant in their vicinity.

On Sunday, the BJP’s Dehradun unit was given a target to its workers to “gather more than 3,000 people” to make the inauguration ceremony by the CM a “grand success”.

“It is unfortunate how the Doon civic body and the state government, both led by the BJP, reduced the launch of a development project to that like a BJP programme,” he said.

Notably, the waste plant saw a series of delays before taking off due to lack of clearances, litigation and protest from locals over the years. It is now likely to help alleviate solid waste disposal woes of Dehradun, which generates more than 350 metric tons of waste per day, as well as nearby towns.

Dehradun mayor and BJP lawmaker Vinod Chamoli, however, hit back at the Congress, blaming it for the “excessive delay in the project” when the Congress was in power.

Chamoli, meanwhile, said the project comprises two main parts - a waste processing plant which will process recyclable waste items and a scientific landfill site, which will help in scientific disposal of garbage, unlike the open waste disposal site or ‘trenching ground’ in Dehradun which was being used for dumping of waste until last month.

The plant was first proposed in 2008 under the Centre’s Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management Project when its estimated cost was ₹24.60 crore, which has since risen to ₹35.97 crore at present.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 21:21 IST