WHILE THE garbage keeps piling up, the Municipal Corporation-Jaypee saga goes on without an end, like a TV soap: a story of repeated break-ups, make-ups, broken promises, two terminations, a series of court rulings and observations, so much so that like those mega serials on television, it’s all becoming too much, except that this one is all happening at the cost of the taxpayer.
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has been in a legal battle with the garbage processing company for over one year now. A memorandum of understanding was entered with Jaypee in 2005 and in 2008, Jaypee set up the garbage processing plant at Dadumajra.
Few years later, Jaypee started demanding tipping or processing fee for the garbage even when the MC contended that the agreement with them stated that no tipping fee would be paid to Jaypee. Following a flurry of letters from the company to the MC threatening to shut the plant, the company finally suspended operations and shut down the plant on July 11, 2016.
The civic body then moved the National Green Tribunal requesting it to ask Jaypee to resume the operations in public interest as the garbage was not being processed and was being dumped at the dumping site in Dadumajra. The tribunal gave them relief and asked Jaypee to resume the operations, following which it opened on July 27.
However, in the resumed hearings, the company told the NGT that it had been suffering losses, and once again said that it should be given a tipping fee. The NGT then asked the Municipal Corporation and Jaypee to amicably solve the issue. As the general house then resolved to terminate the contract mutually and also signed a mutual termination agreement, the tribunal gave time up to March 2017 for the Municipal Corporation to find a replacement. But at the same time, the tribunal asked MC to pay a tipping fee of Rs 500 per tonne till Jaypee continued to process.
Once again, the company and MC made up and Jaypee agreed to continue operating the plant from April 1, 2017, without tipping fee. Yet again, the two broke up over treatment of garbage. MC again moved NGT which advised them to think in the public interest and solve the issue amicably. The saga continued and both again joined hands with Jaypee giving a proposal to the MC officials that it was ready to upgrade its plant and also set up a compost plant.
Not satisfied with Jaypee’s proposal, the general house once again passed a resolution not to accept the offer and to terminate the contract as Jaypee had not been processing the garbage of the city even after the tribunal’s directions. The House even decided to take possession of the land.
When the MC put forth the resolution of general house before the NGT, the latter observed that Jaypee should be allowed to set up a compost plant in public interest. However, the court made certain observations on handing out the plant to MC for Re 1 if the compost plant was not set up in three months’ time. Later in a meeting with MC, Jaypee also sought three weeks’ time for upgradation of existing plant.
Again, there were protests by residents of Dadumajra who said that they wouldn’t let garbage be dumped there. With repeated requests of the mayor, they have agreed for garbage being dumped until Jaypee upgrades its plant.
At present, city’s waste goes into the dumping site. Jaypee promises to set up a compost plant within three months, the draft MoU of which is underway. Again the issue has arisen as Jaypee is not agreeing to all terms and conditions and MC is claiming to look for another alternative, and the saga continues.