Massive fire breaks out at Tajpur dump in Ludhiana
Toxic smoke shrouded the area after a massive fire broke out at the Tajpur Road dump on Friday night, and continued to rage for 19 hours, leaving residents living in its proximity gasping for breath.
Spread over 40 acres, around 20 lakh metric tones of garbage has accumulated on the main dump site of the municipal corporation. With the summer sun beating down on the accumulated waste, fire incidents are regularly being reported at the landfill.
Panic spread in Mahavir Jain Colony, GK Estate, Puneet Colony, Naamdev Colony, and Kakka village among other areas of the city as the smoke turned the residential areas into gas chambers. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the flames were finally brought under control at around 3pm on Saturday.
Area councillor Kanchan Malhotra was unavailable, but her husband, Satish Malhotra, said, “Thousands of people live in proximity to the dump, and the civic body should find a solution to the problem as fire incidents are taking a toll on residents’ health.”
“Two fire tenders were deployed to douse the flames, and they continued to work throughout the night. The fire tenders had to be refilled around 70 times during the firefighting operation,” he added.
‘MC’s tall claims come to naught’
Accusing civic body officials of having a lackadaisical attitude, Ranjeet, a resident of Mahavir Jain Colony, invited authorities to spend a day in the locality. “Only then will the officers empathise with the problems being faced by residents. The elderly, and children had a hard time breathing after the area turned into a gas chamber. Besides, the fires have an adverse effect on the environment. The MC has been making tall claims of disposing of the accumulated garbage, but nothing has been done on ground level.”
Sub-fire officer (SFO) Navrang Singh said regular fire incidents were being reported in the dump due to generation of highly combustible methane gas, which catches fire when the temperature increases. “Fire fighters were deputed in shifts and the firefighting operation ended at around 3pm. A fire tender was again rushed to the site from Sundar Nagar fire station in the evening, after the staff spotted smoke emanating out of the garbage and suspected that another fire may be ignited.”
Garbage processing at a standstill (Bullet Box)
1. After A2Z company terminated its contract with the MC in February, garbage processing at the main dump site has come to a halt.
2. Each day around 1,100 metric tonnes of garbage is generated in the city and dumped on the site
3. Around 20 lakh metric tonnes of garbage has accumulated at the Tajpur Road dump.
4. MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal has said that a consultant has been hired for roping in a solid waste contractor in the city.
5. The tender process is on to dispose of the waste accumulated at the main dump site.
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