Mohali stares at trash trouble as waste collectors threaten strike - Hindustan Times

Mohali stares at trash trouble as waste collectors threaten strike

By, Mohali
Jun 20, 2024 09:24 AM IST

This comes in the wake of the Punjab government slamming brakes on the discarding of waste at the Phase 8-B dump site in Mohali following a high court and NGT rap

Mohali is in for some serious trouble as garbage collectors have threatened to go on strike from Wednesday in wake of the Punjab government’s decision of restricting waste dumping at the Phase 8-B site.

Waste collectors protesting near the PUDA building in Mohali on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
Waste collectors protesting near the PUDA building in Mohali on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

Local bodies secretary Ajoy Sharma had on Tuesday directed the Mohali municipal corporation to stop garbage dumping at the site in wake of the Punjab and Haryana high court’s recent directions to adopt bioremediation measures at the site, which has accumulated around 2.5 lakh cubic metres of legacy waste. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is also closely monitoring the site.

The orders had slammed brakes on around 70 tippers, which dump around 200 tonnes of garbage, including from 40,289 households, at the site daily. The site will only be used for bioremediation of the legacy waste, the orders had stated.

While Mohali also has 14 resource management centres (RMC) for waste disposal, only segregated waste can be dumped here, thus these trucks aren’t allowed to dump waste at these sites.

With the city still struggling to fully implement waste segregation at source, the sanitation workers have refused to sort the waste at their end.

On Wednesday, the sanitation workers parked around 10 trucks filled with garbage at a vacant land near the PUDA building and raised anti-government slogans.

Pawan Godiyal, sanitation union head, Mohali, said, “Out of the 14 RMC points, around four are not working while the rest don’t allow dumping of unsorted waste. The current crisis is a result of mismanagement on the end of the MC and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), which have developed huge societies without ensuring adequate RMC points. In case the gates (Phase 8B site) aren’t opened in two days, we will stop all sanitation work and station the garbage-filled vehicles outside GMADA and MC buildings.”

A senior MC officer said, “There are clear instructions from the government not to allow anyone to dump unsegregated waste at the RMCs.”

When asked about plans to deal with the current crisis, the official blamed the government for the knee-jerk move without ensuring a proper back-up plan.

Another officer said, “Since GMADA did not develop any RMC points, the garbage collected from their areas is being dumped in the MC’s jurisdiction. Similarly, garbage from Balongi, Kharar and Chandigarh is also being dumped here, increasing our burden. Now suddenly, without proper planning, the government has refrained us from dumping garbage at the Phase-8B site. GMADA should immediately allot us 10 acres and install a garbage processing plant there or provide us 100 crore for the same which will resolve our problem.”

Households to be fined for unsorted waste from today

Mohali MC is likely to start fining those households that hand over unsegregated waste to garbage collectors. “We will do rigorous challaning now,” an MC official said.

Mohali deputy mayor Kuljit Singh Bedi directed the district administration, GMADA and municipal corporation officials to take strict action against the protesting employees.

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