Those residing in societies along the Golf Course extension road complained that garbage burning continues unchecked in the area.
Even as the Gurgaon district administration exercised section 144 of CrPC and banned the open burning of waste, residents said the issue continues to persist in the absence of a check at the ground level.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has penalised over 100 persons for the violation, but the quality of air is yet to improve.
“The ground reality is that waste burning is rampant and a daily occurrence on the stretch. The practice pollutes the air irreversibly and has a detrimental effect on our lungs and respiratory tract. I understand from sources that fines are being issued only when MCG is able to find the offender at the site. Neither the MCG or the Sadar police are able to take action if the offender is not present,” said Ruchika Sethi Takkar, a social activist, who is running an outreach campaign — why waste your waste.
Residents said that they have been complaining for three years and also claimed to have documentary proof of rampant waste burning along the boundary wall of Nirvana Country in Sector 51.
Residents also said unless measures, such as introducing a decentralised model of disposal, designating waste dumping sites, clear policy on the waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal, are taken, the waste burning will continue and only random instances will come to their notice.
“I have noticed fires from heaps of garbage along our boundary wall in the last three years several times. The vacant plot, approximately 16 acres, belongs to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and it should secure this area to prevent dumping of garbage and debris. It has become very harmful for my family to open the windows at the back due to the heavy smoke,” Ashok Bhaskar, joint secretary of the Nirvana Country RWA, said.
A senior Huda official said, “We will look into the matter and ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future. We will also ensure that security guards are deployed in the area to keep a check on the vacant plot.”
Residents demanded a mass awareness campaign by MCG to educate residents on the harmful effects of open waste burning on their health.
“They should put up signage, use radios, cinema halls, loudspeakers, approach tractor trolley services that ferry the waste and involve all RWAs in the process,” Takkar said.
Dr Sanjay Mehta, a radiologist and a resident of Nirvana Country, said, “The garbage fires contribute to global warming. Yesterday, the meteorological office reported that this year will be the warmest year in over 100 years. We can see signs of an increase in allergies due to global warming.”
“We are working on two aspects — challaning and promoting waste segregation. From April 1, we are launching a waste portal site for the residents’ welfare associations (RWA). This site will resolve the garbage burning issue,” Amit Khatri, the additional commissioner of MCG, said.