Posing a serious threat to the environment, sweepers and shopkeepers in the city have been burning garbage in the open to save themselves the trouble of taking it to the dumping plant.
The burning piles dotting the city roads emit huge plumes of smoke, causing health problems.
During a round of the city, an HT team observed heaps of garbage set ablaze at Shastri Nagar, New Railway Road, Jyoti Chowk and the Bus Stand.
“This burning of waste at various places has turned the city into one of the most polluted cities of the state. The authorities should not allow anyone to burn such a large amount of garbage,” said Pawandeep Singh, a student.
Physician HJ Singh said, “Various pollution-related diseases are on the rise in the city. Illnesses affecting the respiratory tract, including lower and upper respiratory tract infections, are the most common conditions faced by the locals.”
“Commuting on these roads has become unbearable due to the fumes given off by the burning garbage, and I often have to cover my nose with a cloth. Burning rubbish should be stopped immediately, and the guilty punished,” said Rupinder Kaur, a student.
Several fire incidents due to burning garbage have been reported in various parts of the city. At Alaska Chowk on Friday, one such fire spread, destroying the nearby vegetation.
“Three months ago, my new car parked outside a bank near the local bus stand was burnt due to one such fire,” claimed Ajay Shoor, a Kapurthala resident.
The foul smell and thick smoke are affecting the health of our children, who complain of uneasiness. I have complained to the MC, but with no results
Meenakshi Dureja, resident
In spite of a warning by the National Green Tribunal and strict guidelines issued by courts, the officials concerned choose to turn a blind eye. To save effort, sweepers burn garbage on the roads
Vishal Bhandari, resident
We have issued strict instructions to all the sweepers not to burn garbage in the open, and point out the hazards at our periodical meetings. We will take action against the person concerned
Sarabjeet Singh, chief sanitary inspector