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Waste management projects suffer setback in Uttarakhand

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the Swachh Bharat Mission in a big way, the solid waste management project in Uttarakhand under the public-private partnership has suffered a setback, with most of the companies withdrawing from it.

Under the Rs 50-crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme, the government had given contract to three private companies for picking up wastes from Dehradun, Haridwar and Nainital.

But within two-three years, all the three companies have shown no interest in the projects because of the government’s failure to provide the land for refilling and recycling processes. SPML Infra in Dehradun and A2Z in Nainital have already withdrawn from the project, sources close to the projects told Business Standard.

The fate of Haridwar project is in the doldrums where the similar problem is persisting. In all the three cities, the waste management has become a big problem now, the sources said.

The main hurdle which came in the way of the waste management project was related to the waste processing plant in the three cities. In Dehradun, the Union ministry of environment and forests has recently cleared the environment impact assessment of the waste processing plant at Sheeshambara.

“With the clearance of the waste processing plant at Sheeshambara, we are hopeful now that a new beginning will be made.” said a senior government official.

Under the scheme, the project for the solid waste management in Dehradun has been given to SPML through a tendering process. After signing of the agreement on March 3, 2011, SPML began picking up waste from 45 wards of the city through door-to-door service in 45 wards. But within one year, SPML withdrew from the project citing apathy of the state government towards the programme.

But experts said the company was not providing any relevant data related to the project to the government. “There is no monitoring and evaluation of the project through which we can find out what exactly is happening in Dehradun.” said a government official.

In Nainital, A2Z company has also withdrawn after the government failed to provide land for landfill at Khurpatal. “The company also wanted some changes in terms and conditions.” said an official of the Nainital ubran body.

In Haridwar, KRL Infratech Limited has been given the contract to pick up waste through a high court decision. “Initially, the project was delayed due to litigation. But after sometime, the project has run into problem,” said a senior official of the Haridwar district administration.

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