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Ghaziabad: Encroachments, dumping of untreated waste near Hindon floodplain add to pollution

The municipal corporation has also stacked mountains of solid waste, barely 200metres from the river bank near Pratap Vihar. Every day, Ghaziabad generates 950-1,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste, and most of this is dumped in Pratap Vihar.

noida Updated: Feb 17, 2018 23:11 IST
HT correspondent
HT correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad news,Hindon river,Hindon pollution
A mountain of garbage by the banks of river Hindon at the Pratap Vihar landfill site in Ghaziabad.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

With no solid waste management plan ready for Ghaziabad, river Hindon and its floodplain have become the dumping ground for the city’s refuse, both solid and sewage from industries and homes.

Activists have raised concern over the depleted state of the already polluted river Hindon; it’s floodplain in Ghaziabad, and in the adjoining areas of Gautam Budh Nagar district, marred heavily by illegal construction.

The major concern raised by activists is the shrinking size of the river zone due to encroachments, and the land mafia dumping construction waste and each along the banks to create more land for buildings.

Dr Chandravir Singh, a retired scientist from the Haryana pollution board, said, “The river land (in Ghaziabad) has shrunk because of constructions. The direct discharge of untreated sewage from small colonies add to the river’s pollution. Such discharge heavily contaminates the groundwater and also destroys algae in the river, killing its aquatic life.”

A petition filed by Dr Singh is being heard in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It contends that the groundwater in six western UP districts, including Ghaziabad, has been contaminated as a result of direct discharge of pollutants into river Hindon and two of its tributaries—Krishni and Kali (west).

“The encroachment on the floodplain is widespread and continues to grow. It is the result of a nexus of land mafia and
certain officials, who have allowed it to continue. What is worse is that in many cases the land mafia has vanished after selling plots and houses to the poor (in the floodplain). The poor will suffer in case an anti-encroachment drive is carried out,” social activist and councilor SK Maheshwari said.

To make matters worse, the municipal corporation has also stacked mountains of solid waste, barely 200metres from the river bank near Pratap Vihar. The decomposing waste has contaminated the surroundings, even as housing projects continue to come up in the vicinity.

Every day, Ghaziabad generates 950-1,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste, and most of this is dumped in Pratap Vihar.

Instances of waste catching fire are not unheard of, and this toxic smoke permeates the air that residents breathe, not just in the surrounding area, but all the way across the river Hindon in Indirapuram.

DK Maurya, a resident of Niho-Scottish Garden in Indirapuram, said, “We have nearly 30 residential high-rises in Ahimsa Khand. Residents get affected by the smell, and smoke whenever there is fire, from the solid waste dump near the river. During rain, the foul smell gets stronger. We have met officials from the district administration several time, but have assured us of a remedy soon. If they are not able to address the issue, we will move the NGT.”

Municipal commissioner CP Singh said the city has no solid waste management plant at present.

“Efforts are on to get a scientific solid waste management plant in Galand. There are huge solid waste dumps and these cannot be shifted elsewhere. We have started giving 200 metric tonnes of solid waste to Pilkhuwa. By end of 2018, we will get the solid waste dumps at Pratap Vihar removed,” he added.

The polluted surroundings are also a big dent on the ‘Nirmal Hindon’ initiative, which has been taken up for the revival of river Hindon. For this, action on removal of encroachments from floodplain and checking
effluent discharge into the river is a must.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 23:10 IST