Land Allotment for GMC’s Solid Waste Management Project in a Fix
GUWAHATI: Even after several months of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order to Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to shift the dumping ground to a different location from Boragaon, there seems to have been a logjam over shifting of the dumping ground.
In another recent order, the NGT has asked the Assam government to hand over the plots of land which were identified for the purpose of setting up of an integrated solid waste management (ISWM) plant to the GMC within one month’s time or face “imposition of heavy environmental compensation.”
On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Kamrup (Metro) district, Biswajit Pegu told G Plus that they have allotted the lands to GMC. “We have already allotted them land in four places, including ones in Basistha, Odalbakar, Sonapur and Narengi.”
The authorities have decided to set up waste-to-energy projects and waste-to-manure projects at these selected locations.
Pegu added that another plot of land which amounts to around 40 bighas which belongs to Assam Electricity Grid Corporation Limited (AEGCL) has been identified. They have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the GMC for setting up an integrated waste management plant as well as a waste to energy plant.
Talking about the ground realities, Pegu mentioned that there has been some resistance from the local residents in Chandrapur and Sonapur areas.
The DC also said that the plot of land in Odalbakra is located near a residential locality and it does not seem feasible for setting up the plant.
“The plot of land in Basistha is quite a good plot for setting up the integrated solid waste management plant but someone has filed a petition in the High Court and that land is also in limbo right now and the matter is subjudice,” informed Pegu.
The officials are now focussing on the land in Chandrapur and Sonapur.
The Boragaon dumping ground of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is posing a threat to the natural habitation at Deepor Beel just on the outskirts of the city. The site is protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971. The area has been suffering from environmental degradation due to continuous waste dumping since 2004.
The GMC had however, given up the idea of creating another dumping ground, and will now be establishing the ISWM plant.
“Once it becomes operational, there will be no need of another dumping ground. So, the question of relocating the dumping site does not arise,” GMC commissioner, Debeswar Malakar told G Plus.
He added that once the project starts, garbage will no longer be dumped at Boragaon, but will be sent to the plants for treatment. However, it seems that it might take several years for the ISWM plant to come up given the delays in allotment of land and the actual construction work to begin.
The GMC has already been allotted Rs 10 crores for the project by the state government, said sources.