Gurugram civic body refuses to clear garbage near Aravallis despite state forest dept notice
MCG officials said they will not be clearing up the dump on the foothills of the Aravallis since the area does not lie within the MCG’s jurisdiction.gurgaon Updated: Aug 07, 2018 15:05 IST
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) have refused to clear the unauthorised garbage dump near the Aravallis despite a notice sent by the Haryana state forest department.
The state forest department, on Monday, served a notice to the MCG regarding an unauthorised dump of mixed solid waste at the foothills of the Aravallis, near Behrampur village in Sector 59.
Deepak Nanda, district forest officer, Gurugram, said the notice had been issued on Friday and delivered to the MCG on Monday. “We have informed them that the area is protected under the Forest Act, therefore no dumping can take place there. We have also asked the MCG to comply with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and put an end to all unauthorized dumping in the region,” he said.
The forest department’s notice comes 11 days after the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) issued a show cause notice to the MCG in relation to same issue, on July 27. The civic body had been given 15 days to comply with the HSPCB’s instructions, failing which the board will initiate legal action against the concerned officials.
The dump, which lies in a hilly, forested area between Behrampur and Kadarpur villages of Gurugram district, was noticed by lawyer and environmentalist Paramvir Narang, who frequents the area for runs and treks. After finding the first dump in January, he shared his findings with activists Vaishali Rana Chandra and Sharmila Kaushik, and the duo have since raised the issue repeatedly with officials of the MCG and the forest department, but to no avail. The Hindustan Times reported on the issue on July 30.
However, MCG officials have said they will not be clearing up the dump. Sandeep Kumar, sanitation inspector (Zone 3), MCG, said that the area does not lie within the MCG’s jurisdiction. “Therefore its clean up is not our responsibility,” he said.
Environmentalist Vaishali Rana Chandra, whose complaints led to the forest department and HSPCB issuing their notices to the MCG, contested the sanitation inspector’s claim. “Even if the land is not governed by the MCG, the body is still responsible for the enforcement of the solid waste management rules. Therefore they are obliged to clean up the area.”
The dump, which has grown to occupy at least an acre of land, lies adjacent to a water body in the Aravalli which is frequented by local wildlife. Leachate, or water that is leaching out of the garbage dump, is endangering not only the underlying groundwater table but also the health of the wild animals of the area, such as peacock, nilgai, jackals and leopards, according to Chandra.
Last week, Manoj Kaushik, junior engineer, MCG (Zone 3), said that the area belonged to the MCG and that the garbage would be cleaned up within a day or two. However, on Monday, Kaushik said that the matter was no longer his responsibility. “I am assigned only to look after Ecogreen’s waste-to-energy plant in the area. As far as the HSPCB notice is concerned, I have checked with the MCG office and have not been informed about the same,” Kaushik said.
First Published: Aug 07, 2018 15:05 IST