My city my voice: Agitated Wagholi residents move MPCB over garbage issue
Due to the continuous burning and dumping, residents of various housing societies, along with other residents are facing serious health and respiratory issues, which may result in long-term diseases.pune Updated: Mar 20, 2018 14:53 IST
Agitated Wagholi residents, led by the Wagholi housing societies association(WHSA) have lodged a strong complaint with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) regarding inaction of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority(PMRDA) in curbing continuous garbage dumping and burning in the area. Various representatives from over 100 housing societies in Wagholi have draw the MPCB’s attention towards the recurrent garbage dumping and burning in areas surrounded by residential houses which is leading to serious health issues including respiratory problems to the Wagholi residents.
Additionally, there are hundreds of stone crushing mines working round-the-clock, raising fine dust causing serious health hazards, the representatives said. The residents feel that PMRDA is the controlling authority of the local gram panchyat was not doing much in preventing large-scale garbage dumping and burning in the area.
WHSA director Sanjeev Kumar Patil said,“ Wagholi is growing at a very fast pace but there is no concrete plan from Wagholi gram panchyayat. In spite of our complaints and regular follow-ups, garbage dumping and burning is still going on. In spite of the issue being highlighted in social and mainstream media, there has been no action from the government. We thought the PMRDA office will take suo motu cognizance of the issue. However, action is missing from their end too. Hence, we have been forced to file formal written complaint against the concerned authorities.”
WHSA claimed that according to the government records, accessed by them around 30 tons of garbage was being dumped in Wagholi on a daily basis, not only from Wagholi but also from nearby villages. Moreover, 2000 tonnes of garbage is still lying at the yard which is being burnt by gram panchayat (GP) authorities everyday. Due to the continuous burning and dumping, residents of various housing societies, along with other residents are facing serious health and respiratory issues, which may result in long-term diseases. Senior citizens and children are the worst affected and it is impossible for them to live in this kind of atmosphere, it stated in the complaint.
WHSA member Harcharanjeet Butalia said that citizens have knocked the doors of MPCB as the PMRDA had turned deaf ears to their issues. Inspite of informing the concerned authorities months ago, no concrete steps have been taken.
Hindustan Times had highlighted the issue of rampant garbage burning and dumping which has polluted the ground water turning it into yellow and non potable. The National Green Tribunal ( NGT/MPCB) report stated PM-2.5 in the area is 212 and PM-10 is touching 324, which are way above safe levels.
Demands for a better living:
1. Shifting of garbage yard and immediate stoppage of garbage burning
2. Provision for modern garbage disposal plant
3. Action against gram panchayat under Environment/ Air/Water and other laws for violation
4. Copy of regulation issued to the gram panchayat for scientific garbage disposal. Directions to be issued to gram panchayat for taking appropriate and timebound action to provide sewerage and drainage lines
5. Making PMRDA and gram panchayat accountable to the residents.