OWING TO huge losses every year, the company, Jaiprakash Associates Limited, running the sole garbage processing plant of the city informed the Municipal Corporation on Monday that they had decided to shut down the plant on March 31 this year.
With the plant being shut down, as many as 120 workers will lose their jobs.
In a letter written to the Municipal Commissioner, which was placed before the House in an urgent manner on Monday, it was stated that the losses were being incurred because the MC was not paying them tipping charges for the garbage.
All the councillors were surprised at the company giving such a short notice regarding the closure of the plant. Chandigarh has only one garbage plant at Dadumajra which processes the municipal solid waste generated from the city. The garbage processing plant receives nearly 250 tonnes of garbage daily from the Chandigarh MC. With the garbage, they produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF), which is supplied to various power plants and cement plants.
After Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta read out the letter in the House, Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said the company could be blacklisted for ditching this way. Mayor Arun Sood said that even otherwise many machines at the plant were outdated and they would look out for a solution soon.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga stood up and told the House that he got to know from his sources that the plant was indeed running in loss.
R D Sharma, incharge of the garbage processing plant, said, “We are suffering losses of Rs 6 crore every year. There is no such plant in the world that is not getting the tipping charges. Every month, an expenditure of Rs 50 lakh is being incurred by us. We can’t manage things like this, so we have decided to wrap up (our operations) by March 31.”
Sharma added that they were helpless and 120 workers working there would lose their jobs.
Of the total expenditure, Rs 10 lakh is spent on the electricity bills, the rest of the money is incurred on salaries of the workers, on maintenance of the plant, lubricants, use of diesel and other things. The company has been demanding tipping charges of Rs 1,000 per tonne from the MC.