Noida Sector 118: Industrial waste dumped and burnt in green belt; agencies caught nappingUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 23:57 IST
Mounds of industrial waste, dumped at various spots on the green belt along the FNG Road near Sector 118, were set afire by unknown people on Wednesday while the Noida authority and pollution board begged ignorance. The fire department rushed a tender to the spot an hour after a complaint was filed. The waste was burnt right under a high-tension power line and flames soon spread because of dry grass, but the fire department chief said “it wasn’t an emergency”.
According to residents of Sainik Vihar and construction workers in Sector 118, several hundred bags of plastic, rubber and different chemicals have been getting dumped along a 4km stretch of the FNG Expressway for weeks now. The chunk burnt on Wednesday was one of many dumps, they said, adding that Wednesday’s fire was not the first. Such fires have been lit repeatedly over the past two weeks. Residents and daily commuters also stated that they often seen smoke rising from the green belts, they said.
“For two weeks now, some people have been burning waste early in the morning or evening. We ignored them as the colony is a little far from Pushta road. When such cases started happening every alternate day, people became worried but did not know whom to report them to as agencies often pass the buck and keep telling us to call another department,” Sainik Vihar resident Gyan Chand said.
“This is my daily route and I had been noticing fire every other day. Today, I noticed that the fire was huge and people were taking pictures. How can authorities allow dumping of so much waste,” said student Shashwat Dubey, who tried calling the fire tender at ‘101’ but kept getting a series of new numbers from different officials.
Noida chief fire officer Arun Kumar stated that he was apprised of the situation by a UPPCB official. “We rushed a tender. What the student claims may have happened as garbage was being burnt; it wasn’t an emergency. Officials tend to give the number of the nearest fire station to avoid miscommunication about location, etc.”
Another Sainik Vihar resident Ajay Kumar said “This particular mound had been burning since Tuesday night. Earlier it was only smoke which became thicker as the day progressed. It looked like someone set it afire again so it would burn.” He added that a number of trucks have been dumping bags of waste in the green belts for weeks now.
Pollution monitoring agency Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said it was the Noida authority’s job to remove the garbage. “We will get it checked and have rushed an official,” Noida UPPCB regional officer Anil Kumar Singh said.
Avinash Tripathi, officer on special duty (OSD), health, Noida Authority said, “Since the waste was dumped in a green belt, the horticulture department will have to remove it. Since dumping waste is illegal, we will get it checked and trace its source; violators will be penalised.”
Officials said it was illegal to dump waste at undesignated spots, but it was the duty of the industries to manage their waste themselves. The Noida authority only collects certain waste like plastics, metal, etc, they said.
Earlier as well, several such cases have been reported in Noida and Greater Noida. Following this, the district administration had announced a reward scheme for those who report such incidents.