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Neb Sarai dumpyard puts students at risk

Garbage can be seen scattered around the ground, which is barely 50m away from two schools

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2016 20:30 IST
Vibha Sharma
For more than 10 years, a vacant land just 50m away from two schools — belonging to SDMC and Delhi government — is being used to dump garbage.
For more than 10 years, a vacant land just 50m away from two schools — belonging to SDMC and Delhi government — is being used to dump garbage.(S Burmaula / HT Photo)

‘Keep your surroundings clean’ is one of the first lessons taught to students in schools. However, the teachers of two schools in Neb Sarai — South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) primary school and Delhi government’s secondary school) are having a hard time explaining the lesson to their students. For more than 10 years, the vacant land next to these schools is being used for dumping garbage. Garbage can be seen scattered around the ground, which is barely 50m away from these institutions. And, due to the pungent smell people are forced to cover their faces while crossing the stretch. Residents claim to have raised the issue on various platforms, but in vain.

“We have raised the issue at every meeting with the school management committee. One can imagine the plight of the children who are in the school for most part of the day,” said a teacher from government’s secondary school.

He said that as the school lacks a playground, the teachers had proposed to the management to write to the Delhi government for possession of this land. “But we were told that the land belongs to the forest department and can’t be used for any other activity. Our school has 1,560 students and the space available for sports activities is not enough,” he said.

The garbage dumped here includes household waste and waste from shops. Also, as the site has not been demarcated as a garbage dumping site by the civic agency, no effort is being made to dissuade residents and sanitation workers from dumping garbage here.

Area councillor Rampal Yadav said, “For decades, this site has been used to dump garbage. It will be difficult to relocate the site all of a sudden. Only the waste collected from Neb Sarai area is dumped here, but we will try to improve the condition of this ground. We will instruct the contractor, assigned to lift the garbage, to do the job properly.”

Kuldeep Kumar, vice president of Neb Sarai Harijan Colony RWA, said they have requested forest department officials to raise the boundary wall and plant saplings here or at least barricade the site. “The raising of boundary wall will stop people from dumping waste here but no cognizance was given to our request,” he said.

The association also wrote to the deputy chief minister in June this year sharing the apprehension about the unhygienic conditions around the school that can lead to health issues among the students. But, again, nothing concrete happened.

An SDMC school teacher also agreed that the place should be cleaned for the convenience of students and residents.

Sushil Singh, general secretary of the RWA, “A portion of land was leased out to the Blind School which used to run from a temporary shelter. But, after the completion of the lease period, the land was transferred to the forest department.”

Also, Singh said the road in front of schools has been encroached upon. People have set up makeshift stalls on both sides of the road.

A senior official of SDMC’s sanitation department said, “The open sites are among the secondary collection points of SDMC and in another six months we will stop using them as the process of awarding tenders to new contractor will start soon. The contractor will pick garbage directly from homes and take it to a landfill.”

SK Muan Guite, deputy forest officer (south) was not available for comment.