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Firm told to clear plastic waste from Basai wetland in 24 hours

MCG issues notice to plastic bottle manufacturer to clear the seven-foot high stack of waste on a complaint by state pollution control board.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 11, 2018 09:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Plastic pollution,Basai,Gurugram
Officials said the stack of plastic waste on the 1,000 square yard plot is around seven feet high, taller than the boundary wall.(HT Photo/Pankaj Gupta)

Officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) on Sunday ordered a plastic bottle manufacturer to clear the waste it has dumped near the water body in the Basai wetland within 24 hours.

Environmentalists are alleging that the plastic is harming birds. On Thursday, a black-necked stork was spotted with a plastic bottle cap around its beak. Since then, the birders have been trying to catch the bird and free it but have been unable to do so.

The black-necked stork, which has been giving birders of the National Capital Region sleepless nights, was spotted in Najafgarh around 5.30pm on Sunday. Trained bird catchers have been called in from Pinjore to attempt a rescue on Sunday night at 10.30pm.

The MCG officials conducted a spot check, after a complaintwas forwarded by the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) on the behest of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB).

“A complaint was received from the SDM’s office and officials were accordingly sent to the spot, where a local plastic bottle manufacturing company has been dumping the bottles. The owner was summoned and a notice has been given to him for clearing the spot within 24 hours,” YS Gupta, additional commissioner of MCG, said.

Gupta refused to divulge details of the owner but said he/she is a resident of Basai village. MCG officials said they received a complaint from the SDM office around 10.30pm on Saturday.

A stork, with has a plastic bottle cap around its neck, was spotted in Najafgarh around 5.30pm on Sunday. (HT Photo/Manoj Nair)

Officials said the stack of plastic waste on the 1,000 square yard plot is around seven feet high and is taller than its boundary wall.

The plot is located near the proposed construction and demolition (C&D) waste plant.

Pankaj Gupta, a bird watcher from Delhi, said these wetlands are extremely significant.

“They are formally recognised as IBAs or important bird areas. In 2004, the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History recommended the ministry of environment and forests to give these the status of a Ramsar site, which according to UNESCO’s Ramsar Convention, is the highest level of protection accorded to wetlands. Yet, despite showing the Haryana government substantial evidence, officials maintain that the area is not a wetland according to its revenue registry and falls under the Public Utility Area category of the 2021 masterplan.”

“If our effort to catch the bird (on Sunday night) fails, we will try again in the morning,” Gupta said.

The Basai waterbody has been a bone of contention as birders approached the National Green Tribunal last year, seeking a stay on the construction of a C&D waste plant close to the waterbody.

The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram is to construct the plant.

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 08:57 IST