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Environment Status Report 2017-2018: Garbage management, automobile air pollution among biggest challenges

According to ESR, Pune is on a downward spiral because of rapid urbanisation as it is unable to deal with garbage, water and air pollution

pune Updated: Jul 27, 2018 17:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,environment,status
Due to mismanagement by PMC and unchecked public dumping of garbage, many places in the city are reeking of waste.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

The continued expansion of Pune city, coupled with rising population and the consequent pressure on the civic administration to provide basic infrastructure and services to the growing population, is taking a toll on the environment, the Pune municipal corporation’s (PMC) environment status report 2017-18 has revealed.

Taking cognisance of the observations made in the PMC general body meeting, the report has noted that solid waste management has emerged as the biggest environmental challenge before the city.

The report has noted that air pollution, as a result of growing vehicular population, has been the leading cause for the increase in respiratory ailments among residents. It has also led to greater sound pollution due to residents’ habit of incessantly honking on the roads, the ESR stated.

The report has also expressed concern over the rising population of stray dogs, calling for a survey of the stray dog population, and more effective measures for sterlisation and establishment of dog pounds.

It has also raised concern over the growing number of pigeons in the city and the unchecked feeding of pigeons by residents, resulting in an increase in the pigeon population.

“Practices such as unchecked feeding of birds can pose serious health hazards as the droppings of the birds, especially pigeons, is leading to fungous infections,” said the report.

The ESR has emphasised the importance of trees and urban greenery to arrest pollution and PMC’s commitment to initiatives such as promotion of non-conventional energy and solar power. The promotion of public transport, non-polluting CNG (compressed natural gas), metro rail, cycle tracks, vertical garden, steps to collect e-waste, and establishment of sewage treatment plants to arrest river pollution, have been highlighted among the steps being taken by PMC to achieve sustainable development.

HOW PUNE’S ENVIRONMENT HAS GONE FOR A TOSS
The latest environment status report published by the Pune municipal corporation has revealed that unchecked urbanisation and the consequent pressure on the civic administration to provide basic infrastructure and services to the growing population, is taking a toll on the environment
WATER POLLUTION
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT:
AIR POLLUTION
Hadapsar and Lohegaon are the areas worst affected by air pollution. Sulphur compounds, nitrogen compounds and nitrogen dioxide are found above permissible limits in the two areas. Vehicular pollution has been one of the major reasons for the poor air quality. Increased air traffic has resulted in deteriorating air quality index in Lohegaon.

Solid Waste Management: A total of 2,100 tonne of waste is generated daily in the city, with a per capita wastage of 350-750 grams. Of this, 40% is household waste, 25% is generated from hotels and restaurants, and commercial establishments each. Around 10% waste is generated from the market areas. Organic waste constitutes 45% of the total waste generated in the city, while inert materials and miscellaneous wastes constitute 20% and 15% respectively. The remaining waste generated comes from paper, plastic, metal, glass, and leather or rubber materials.

Air pollution: Hadapsar and Lohegaon are the areas worst affected by air pollution. Sulphur compounds, nitrogen compounds and nitrogen dioxide are found above permissible limits in the two areas. Gufran Baig, project director of Safar (system of air quality and weather forecasting and research), said, “The air quality index of Hadapsar is the worst when compared to other areas in the city. Lohegaon is second worst-affected area. Vehicular pollution has been one of the major reasons for the poor air quality. Also, the increased air traffic has resulted in deteriorating air quality index in Lohegaon.”

Sound pollution: A sound pollution survey was undertaken in 11 areas in the city; Navi Peth, Sant Dnyaneshwar ghat, near Ramoshi gate police, Pulachiwadi, Sant Malim Maharaj Ghat, Katraj Lake, near Phadke houd, Erandwane, Khadakwasla, Raja ram bridge, and Ramwadi Octri naka. All the locations registered a decibel level higher than that of the permissible limit.

Rise in stray dog population: The number of reported dog bites in the city in the year 2017-2018 came up to an astounding figure of 10,340. The total number of vaccinations and sterilisation of stray dogs using ABC and AR techniques in the year 2018 was 1,565.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 17:06 IST