The shutting down of the earlier inadequate processing plant, which was only able to process 500 metric tonnes of the 900 metric tonnes of waste it received every day, has made living in the vicinity a nightmare for the residents.
A perpetual putrid smell wafts in the air and swarms of insects have found new breeding grounds as solid waste piles up with no way to process it.
“Earlier the plant processed at least 500 metric tonnes waste. But, with it being shut down, the garbage is continuing to get piled up,” said Kishore Kodwani, a social activist.
With the plant not running, piles of garbage rot and catch fire under the summer sun, only adding to the worries of the residents as dense toxic smoke makes the air unbreathable.
Indore municipal corporation (IMC) officials blame the formation of methane gas from the rotting waste for the fire.
“The waste catches fire because of the heat and the presence of methane. To check this, we have stationed two fire tankers at the trenching ground, so that fire can be curbed if it happens,” said Manish Singh, IMC commissioner.
The residents, however, don’t feel the tankers are much help.
“The waste is so immense and two tankers are so (few). They are incapable of dousing it off,” said Arpit Tiwari, a resident of a township near the trenching ground.
Stepping up its efforts to promptly resolve the fire issue, a sample project was started on Thursday at the trenching ground wherein two pipes have been put into the garbage, which will work as an exhaust for the methane gas.
“It is just a sample project. If it works, we will then install around 35 pipes in the entire stretch,” said Kodwani.
With monsoon rains coming, the matter could potentially affect the quality of water too. “Monsoon is the worst season… The water gets even more polluted as the garbage starts to seep in with the impact of rains,” said Sameer Kambrelkar, a resident of Kalindi township.
A notice has been issued to A2Z company, which earlier processed solid waste, but no immediate solution can be offered, according to the IMC commissioner.
“We are trying our level best to solve the issue. The trenching ground and the processing of the waste is a serious issue… but it can only be settled (over) time,” Singh said.