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| Last Updated:29/05/2020

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Una MC dumping waste on Swan banks

The Una Municipal Committee (MC) is dumping solid waste on the Swan river banks in violations of pollution norms. However, a solid waste management plant, constructed at a cost of Rs 60 lakh, has failed to function ever since it was built about 10 years ago.

MC officials said the solid garbage generation in the city was about 6 metric tonnes daily, which meant six truckloads a day. Under a Norwegian Aid Agency funding programme, Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned in 1998 for setting up a plant in Una. A plot near the Malahat khud was purchased by the MC for constructing the facility.

Mahesh Datt Sharma, Executive Officer (EO), Una MC, said about a year ago, a decision was taken to put the plant to use. After spending another Rs 10 lakh for repairing the dilapidated structures and constructing quarters for the plant management staff, some pits were filled up with waste and about 5 quintals of compost generated. The compost samples, sent to the Pollution Control Board, had failed the tests as it was found harmful for plants, said the EO.

Sharma said last month, the work for segregation of the garbage into non-degradable and degradable material along with its conversion into compost was awarded to a private firm at a cost of Rs 40,000 a month. However, the workers at the site said they had received only eight truckloads of garbage till date, which was insufficient for the plant to be viable. They further complained that they were not supplied with gloves and other protection material to deal with the hazardous material.

While Rs 60 lakh, spent on the plant, is a criminal waste of public money, the MC is dumping waste on an open space adjacent to the Swan river in Rampur village. The dumping yard is teeming with insects and there is foul smell within the 1 km radius.

The Tribune (03-12-2013)