PMC building garbage shed within flood-line of Mula-Mutha in Koregaon park, alleges ex-zonal commissioner
PUNE The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) stands accused of ignoring a former zonal commissioner’s complaints, raised over the issue of constructing a solid waste segregation shed inside the floodline of the Mula-Mutha river, near the burning ghat road in Koregaon Park.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had already taken action against the PMC over the construction within floodlines and the riverbed, in 2014.
NGT and the Supreme Court passed an order to stop work, and directed the PMC to remove debris from the floodline area, as it was creating obstacles to the natural flow of the river.
However, PMC, in Koregaon Park, is constructing a new segregation centre.
Interestingly, a PMC employees housing society is a stone’s throw away from the shed is being built.
Former zonal commissioner Umesh Mali had warned solid waste department officials about the work going on within the floodline.
Mali said, “The corporation has already set up an Avani waste compost plant and one garden shredding shed within the floodline in the burning ghat area. I took objection at the time, however, it was not considered. Now, there is another segregation shed coming up near the Avani plant. I spoke to Ajit Deshmukh, solid waste department head, one month ago. He gave me a positive response about looking into the matter. After that, he has gone on medical leave and the work is still going on.”
Mali added, “Last year, the entire stretch where the work is going on was flooded. I have shared photographs with the concerned officials, but, nothing has happened till date.”
Rajkumar Rajput, an official of the solid waste department, said, “I have to visit and check. However, the solid waste department hasn’t given any permission to set up a shed. For the Avani compost plan, I don’t know whether it has come in the floodline area because it was constructed earlier.”
Vilas Kanade, joint municipal commissioner, with additional charge of the solid waste management department, said, “I have to check it. However, there is a chance that Swachh is constructing a shed in that area. If it is true, we will remove it.”
Civic activist Vijay Kumbhar said, “In 2003, the high court had given instructions to the PMC to stop construction in floodline areas in one of the cases. However, it has not stopped. Now, the time has come to file a criminal case against the PMC over this issue.”
The PMC is facing stiff opposition from residents over the setting up of garbage plants in residential areas in different parts of the city. Sus and Wadgaon Budruk garbage processing plants are recent examples of opposition from residents.
Kumbar said, “It is not good to set up plants in flood-line areas. PMC cannot push citizens into danger to avoid agitation and opposition to solid waste plants.”