Fragile Patnitop environment, ecology to remain under threat for more months

PDA’s Garbage Treatment Project fails Sept deadline

Sanjeev K Sharma
JAMMU, Sept 8: The threat to fragile environment and ecology at world famous hill station Patnitop will continue for some more months as the authorities concerned have failed to get operational the Garbage Treatment Project at the hill station, even after two years of its sanctioning.
Sources informed that to preserve the ecology and environment at Patnitop and maintain cleanliness in the area, a Magnetic Disintegrator machine to scientifically treat plastic wastes, wood, litter etc converting these into ash was procured by Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) two years back and this machine was an important component of the Garbage Treatment Project.
They also informed that the threat posed by the unattended and untreated garbage to the environment and ecology at the popular hill station was to be dealt by the Magnetic Disintegrator after the completion of the project but the same is yet to be made operational despite two years of its (Magnetic Disintegrator’s) procurement by the authorities @ over Rs 40 lakh.
When contacted Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PDA, Pran Singh said that the project to treat the garbage had was estimated to be completed by September this year but the same could not be done due to certain reasons.
However, he insisted that September 2019 was not the deadline for the project completion.
“Now let us hope that the project might be made operational by the end of this financial year as the transformer required for the project has also been done sanctioned now,” he informed adding that the entire project cost was nearly Rs 67 lakh including cost of Magnetic Disintegrator, transformer, watchman’s room etc.
“All the money has now been released,” the CEO claimed.
Singh also said that power connection for the project was a problem earlier but the same has been obtained from the Power development Department (PDD) now.
“The project of garbage treatment was a necessity as there is no place in the Patnitop area for garbage disposal and the unattended garbage was posing a grave threat to the fragile environment of the area,” Singh said.
The PDA CEO further said: “When made operational, the project will safeguard the fragile ecology and environment of Patnitop.”
He also said that after the completion of the project next step will be to outsource it to some suitable agency as its operation and maintenance needs technically sound staff.
“The charges of outsourcing the project will be borne by the PDA while the company that had supplied the machine will take care of its (machine’s) maintenance for some initial years of its operationalisation,” Singh said.
On effective life of the machine and the project’s proper functioning he said that he was out of station and will see papers to give information on that.
It is pertinent to mention here that Patnitop is the famous hill station frequented by the tourists from different parts of country especially in the months of summer to enjoy the chilly climate there.
Most of these tourists throw used poly-bags etc here and there at the hills of Patnitop which ultimately results in heaps of litter posing a challenge for the authorities concerned for garbage disposal as the area has fragile ecology.