August 18, 2021 7:26:46 am
FOLLOWING THE conversion of a piece of land at Jhuriwala into a dumping ground by the Panchkula Municipal Corporation, the forest divisions of Morni, Pinjore and Panchkula have written to the HSVP to hand over the land to them as they defaulted on following the requisite terms and conditions the land had been allotted to them on. The Panchkula Pollution Control Bboard has also written to the Panchkula civic body, citing several irregularities in turning the site into a dumping ground.
The forest department had actually allotted the land to HSVP for its maintenance, including planting of trees, plants and natural habitat. But breaking all norms, the HSVP went ahead to allot the land to Panchkula MC for setting up a solid waste management plant. The Panchkula MC in turn has turned it into another dumping ground.
HSVP estate officer Mamta Malik, when contacted, said, “I received the letter today itself. This matter pertains to a time when I had not been posted here. I have asked my department to dig out the file and hand it over to me. We will take this matter up as per norms once I have all the details.”
The Panchkula Pollution Control Board, in a letter issued in the first week of August, has also cited several irregularities in conversion of the said piece of land into a dumping ground. “They do not have any permissions for the land. Their environmental clearance has expired, permission to establish has also expired. Moreover, the site is not being developed at all as promised into a solid waste management ground but has instead been changed into a dumping ground. The waste is being dumped in an unscientific way and they are even burning garbage at the spot, all of which is illegal,” said Virendar Punia, regional officer for the Pollution Control Board.
As per the department, the Panchkula MC is operating in the area without a valid environmental clearance. which is issued from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and without the consent to establish (NOC), which has to be issued by the Pollution Control Board. But no reply in the matter has yet been filed by the MC.
A monitoring committee of the National Green Tribunal had even sought an explanation from the Panchkula MC about almost a dozen concerns raised by the residents in a representation submitted by them regarding the newly found dumping ground at Jhuriwala site in Panchkula. The MC is yet to file a reply to that as well.
Municipal Commissoner Dharamvir Singh was unavailable for comment.
The letter now filed by the forest department has demanded that the HSVP hand over the land back to them under sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act.
This newly found dumping ground has caused an uproar amid the trans-Ghaggar residents of the city who remain at the centre of two dumping grounds from the previous one at Sector 23 of the city. The Jhuriwala dumping site remains near the residential area — the prime reason the first dumping ground was to be shifted out. Residents fear pollution of water, air and land in their residential area, on the lines similar to the Sector 23 site.
Even as it is the pet project of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, several representations on the issue sent by the local residents to the Chief Minister, Minister Urban Local Bodies, District Administration Panchkula and Mayor Municipal Corporation Panchkula have went unheard.
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