Despite Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s verbal assurance to shelve the ‘Jamsher Solid Waste Plant’ project, residents of Jalandhar cantt and particularly some Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers are in no mood to trust the Chief Minister’s ‘words’ and instead have demanded a written statement on this matter. With Punjab set for assembly polls next year, they feel that if any other party comes to power, the plant will be set up since the SAD-BJP allaince had passed the project.
“We do not trust the Chief Minister’s words without any written assurance. Similar things has happened earlier. The government will assure that the plant won’t come up here but the next moment some officials from the Municipal Corporation will visit the site for inspection and minister Anil Joshi will give his nod to the project,” said Shiromani Akali Dal sarpanch, Kamaljeet Kaur, from Chiteani village .
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Thanking Pargat Singh, who represents Jalandhar Cantt assembly for taking up their cause and refusing his elevation as the Chief parliamentary Secretary (CPS), the leaders vowed to stand by their MLA.
“This constituency have given three MLAs in a row to this government. But now this government is not even listening to us as well as our MLA, who is taking up our cause,” Kaur said. She added that it is difficult to trust a government which had earlier ignored their appeals. And only after Pargat refused to accept the post of CPS, did they give a verbal assurance to shelve the project.
In a bid to chalk out their next course of action, several Akali workers from around 25 villages close to Jamsher had gathered at a dairy complex.
Echoing the views of other Akali leaders, Ajaib Singh Puar said that they are ready to lay their lives for this project but won’t allow the government to set it up here and urged the CM to give his assurance in writing.
It may be noted that the state government had proposed to setting up a ‘Solid waste management’ plant in Jamsher around 15 km from Jalandhar. For this purpose, it had also almost taken all kind of clearances needed including that from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“Our MLA had gone through every aspect of this plant and found that local leaders as well as officials of Jalandhar MC have misled not only the government but the NGT as well by concealing various facts about the plant,” said another SAD leader Mohan Singh adding that such plants cannot be set up less than a distance of 500 meters from the habitual area. He further reasoned that it is dangerous as the currently demarcated site of this plant falls between the Jamsher dairy complex where 16,000 cattle, 7,000 people are housed.