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Wagholi’s woes: No silver lining for clouds of smoke

At least 60 tonnes of garbage is generated by the Wagholi residents every day and 16 tonnes of garbage is expected to be processed on a scientific basis as a pilot-run during the first phase.

pune Updated: Jan 07, 2019 15:08 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Wagholi,Wagholi Housing Societies Association
Garbage being segregated at the first commissioned plant which has a capacity of 16 tonnes. (HT Photo )

The Wagholi Gram Panchayat started constructing a state-of-the-art multi-crore garbage treatment and processing plant in September 2018, as a step towards fighting serious environmental and health threats.

Residents were hoping that the indiscriminate dumping and rampant burning of toxic garbage in Wagholi would soon be a thing of the past but it was not to be. At least one lakh residents in the area are suffering from bad garbage management.

At least 60 tonnes of garbage is generated by the Wagholi residents every day and 16 tonnes of garbage is expected to be processed on a scientific basis as a pilot-run during the first phase.

The entire garbage treatment and processing plant is being set up by a private player after an agreement was reached between the private party, Gram Panchayat and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

Wagholi residents are unhappy with the slow pace of work with regard to commissioning of the plant and they say that the situation is going from bad to worse.

For the last one year, residents have brought to the notice of state and union government the improper handling of garbage by PMRDA, which is the controlling and supervisory authority of the Wagholi Gram Panchayat.

The Wagholi Housing Societies Association (WHSA), the umbrella body with at least 200 residential societies had carried out a protest against PMRDA and demanded action against the metropolitan authority for its failure in meeting the needs of the people in June 2017 and in March, a decision was taken to commission garbage treatment and processing plants.

Nitin Kumar Jain, a member of WHSA, said that the gram panchayat had given the work of setting up the garbage treatment plant to a private firm.

“For the past three months, garbage collection has stopped and piles of garbage can be seen everywhere in Wagholi. The failure of PMRDA is evident as the situation has done from bad to worse. We were promised that the work on the garbage treatment plant would be completed in four months ( December 2018) but going by the pace of the work, I think it would take another six months for the work to be completed.”

Madhukar Date, development officer, Wagholi Gram Panchayat said that the construction of two garbage processing plants by a private company is in progress.

“One of the plant is already functional while the other one will be ready in next four days (January 10), it will bring the much needed relief to the residents. We are trying our level best to proper amenities to the residents ,” he said.

Harcharanjeet Butalia, a member of WHSA lamented at the slow pace of commissioning of the garbage processing unit work and insisted that PMRDA must ensure that the plant follows the environmental safeguards guidelines.

“We are not impressed by the unprofessional working of PMRDA and the Gram Panchayat,” he said.

WHSA also complained that 16 garbage transporting vehicles which was given by PMRDA are lying unused due to the lethargic attitude of the bureaucracy.

First Published: Jan 07, 2019 14:45 IST