Bhagtanwala Residents in Amritsar Demand Relocation of Solid Waste Management Plant

Reported by

Lakhvinder Singh

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 1, 2016

October 1, 2016

Updated on

October 1, 2016

Location of Conflict

Bhagtanwala

Amritsar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Waste Management

Solid Waste Management

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

50000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

25

ha

Starting Year

2014

State

Punjab

Sector

Infrastructure

The residents of Bhagtanwala in Amritsar have long complained against indiscriminate dumping of garbage in their area. The Municipal Corporation Amritsar (MCA) had decided in December 2014 to start a modern Solid Waste Management Plant at the existing Bhagtanwala dump site. The proposed facility was to be designed to cater to the needs of eight municipalities, including Amritsar, but the residents strongly opposed the proposal. As per the Municipal Solid Waste law, a solid waste processing plant in the close vicinity of a densely populated area is not permitted. However, in the absence of an alternative site, the MCA started dumping waste in Bhagtanwala. The residents immediately came out in protest, both against the unchecked dumping of waste and also against the proposed waste treatment plant in the area. They staged a protest at Kot Mangal Singh Chowk, where they complained of suffering from illnesses because of the garbage problem. In December 2014, the residents called off their protest after assurances of action by a local MLA. But they reignited their protest after the National Green Tribunal wrote a letter to the MCA seeking a status report of the action plan for the proposed plant. In 2018, the residents staged another protest, calling for the relocation of the dumping site. Disappointed that the government had not fulfilled its prepoll promise of a speedy solution to the garbage dumping problem, the residents launched a campaign called 'Ek Fariyaad Mukhya Mantri ke Naam (One request in the name of the Chief Minister)'. They sent more than 100 postcards and letters to the chief minister, requesting urgent action to relocate the dump site. In 2019, a monitoring committee constituted to document compliance of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, visited the Bhagtanwala dump site and found 1215 lakh tonnes of solid waste spread over 25 hectares. Further, the site was found to be lacking viable boundary walls and a green belt of suitable width surrounding the site. Even the groundwater tested positive for toxic chemicals like lead. The wastetoenergy plant proposed to be installed in 2017 had still not been installed. The residents reiterated their complaints of how the site had become a major source of nuisance and posed a viable threat to their health. The committee concluded that there was indeed gross violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. In 2020, it was reported that the MCA had started the process of bioremediation of garbage at the Bhagtanwala dump. Ajay Kawar, municipal health officer, told the media, "More machines will be added. AVERDA will take over this project and implement it properly. Composite pits have been prepared. The company will also install the wastetoenergy plant. The boundary wall is under construction, and the green belt will be devolved soon. By Februray 2021, around 80,000 metric tonnes of garbage were reported to have been biomined. A compost pad had also been prepared for decomposing green waste to produce manure. According to MCA officials, the energy plant would convert garbage into green coal through pyrolysis. The residents however, are unhappy with the entire process. They continue to stick to their original demand of shifting the dump site outside the city premises.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Other, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
Rule 15: [Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that waste is collected and transported to suitable processing facilities, analysing existing dumpsites for their potential to be bio-mined and bio-remediated, and capping dumpsites that cannot be bio-mined or bio-mediated in order to prevent further damage to the environment]; Schedule I: [Criteria for site selection for sanitary landfills and development of facilities at landfills]
Punjab Solid Waste Management Policy, 2018
The policy provides a strategy framework for the scientific and systematic disposal of solid waste in a time-bound manner; Point 5.2: [The policy aims to achieve 100 per cent door-to-door collection of segregated waste]; Point 5.3: [Solid waste must be processed scientifically in an eco-friendly and economically sustainable manner]
Bio-Medical Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
Section 7(1): [Bio-medical waste must be treated and disposed of in accordance with Schedule I of the Rules and must comply with standards provided in Schedule II of the Rules]; Section 8(1): [Untreated bio-medical waste cannot be mixed with other wastes]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

OA No. 606 of 2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Municipal Corporation of Amritsar; Punjab Pollution Control Board; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate; State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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