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Garbage burning continue to pollute air in East Delhi despite NGT ban

This despite the National Green Tribunal imposing a nationwide ban on the burning of bulk waste in open spaces in December 2016, and imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 for any violation. HT found rampant waste burning in Kanti Nagar and Vishwas Nagar.

delhi Updated: Jun 15, 2017 12:30 IST
Ritam Halder
Ritam Halder
Hindustan Times
Garbage burning,waste burning east Delhi,Vishwas Nagar
A pile of garbage burns at Vishwas Nagar, near Swarn Cinema in East Delhi. The National Green Tribunal had banned open burning of waste last year.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Swachh Bharat might be the latest mantra with waste segregation being the focus of the civic agencies in the Capital. However, as a quick fix waste management ploy, garbage burning continues in many areas across East Delhi, be it in parks, roadsides or drains.

The Hindustan Times found garbage being burnt at the DDA park in Kanti Nagar.

“Every 2-3 days, you can see that waste is collected and burnt here right in the middle of the Maharana Pratap Park. When we used to complain about all the garbage strewn across the park, the workers collect it and burn it up. We have tried talking to DDA officials but the burning continues,” said Harish Sharma, a 43-year-old resident of Raghuvarpura and a regular visitor to the park.

This despite the National Green Tribunal imposing a nationwide ban on the burning of bulk waste in open spaces in December 2016, and imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 for any violation.

The green court, back in April 2015 also, banned open burning of garbage and had directed authorities in Delhi and NCR to impose a fine of R5,000 on anyone caught burning waste — garbage, leaves, plastic, rubber or other items — in open areas.

Another space where impromptu waste burning was seen was in Vishwas Nagar. Right next to Swarn Cinema at Vishwas Nagar alongside the drain on road number 57, which resembles a dhalao with garbage lying scattered.

BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front (Federation), said burning of garbage has become a common sight across East Delhi and the situation is same even after the NGT order.

“It’s sad. Even though we are amongst the most polluted cities, still we have not yet generated any sense of duty for the city. Those responsible for the management of garbage try to burn it at late hours just to get rid of it without understanding the damage it is causing,” Vohra said.

Areas like Kanti Nagar, Azad Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Jagatpuri Institutional Area, Ghazipur and Seelampur frequently witness these kind of fires.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), open air garbage burning contributes 5% to 11% of direct particulate matter to the air in India. In Delhi, the contribution is almost 18%. Though vehicular emissions are the biggest pollutants, burning of garbage and leaves contribute to 29.4% of the air pollution when it comes to particulate matter 10 or PM10.

Exposure to these small particles that lodge deep in lungs can result in coughing, wheezing and even a heart attack or a stroke. The NGT had also noted that burning trash in the open produces many pollutants that may cause cancer.

Delhi Development Authority vice chairman Uday Pratap Singh said, “We insist on composting in DDA parks and have pits for this purpose. If there is anything like that happening, we will get it checked immediately.”

The East corporation officials say they are keeping strict vigil to catch violators.

“We have not noticed any sudden increase in the number of garbage burning incidents in East Delhi. If this is the case, then the issue must be discussed in the commissioner’s meeting. We are serious about the issue and department concerned is challaning the defaulters regularly,” said a senior official.

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 23:46 IST