Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 13:

In a huge setback to residents of Daruthenga, who were opposing the much-delayed solid waste plant at Bhuasuni on outskirts of Odisha capital, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given a green signal to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) directing to go ahead with the project at the earliest.

The next hearing will take place on March 21.

The tribunal in its interim order asked the Commissionerate Police and Urban Development department to take initiative to deal with the opposition from the villagers.

According to reports, although, it was not the final verdict of the NGT on the issue, the tribunal has given its nod to the project. In view of the villagers’ protests and opposition against the solid waste treatment project, the NGT has directed the police commissioner for heavy police personnel deployment at the site for timely completion of the plant. The Urban Development department has been asked to take step to ensure that the administrative issue will not take place in the operation of the plant.

Notably, the villagers of Daruthenga had moved the NGT against the solid waste plant project. Appearing before the tribunal on Feb 9 in Kolkata, the BMC Commissioner Krishan Kumar had presented its stand clarifying the initiatives taken towards construction of the plant and the possible effect on people with the operation of the waste treatment plant.

The NGT also asked the BMC to submit an action plan by third week of March this year, official sources said.

The district administration, pollution control board, forest & environment department and even Orissa High Court have permitted for the setting up of the plant, but the villagers have been opposing the project, the BMC said in the tribunal.

The tribunal has asked to submit an affidavit before March 21 mentioning about the permission given by the departments for the project and initiatives towards setting up the plant. The NGT is likely to give its final verdict on March 21 on the issue, said Daruthenga sarpanch Prashant Kumar Routray.