“The smoke clouds engulf buildings as tall as 11 and 12 storeys. I live on the top floor and keep my windows closed all the time. It causes continuous irritation and my eyes go dry because of the smoke. The suffocation is too much to resist. At times, stink accompanies the smoke which makes things worse,“ said homeopathic consultant Zubbin Motafram.
People were seen dumping on an open plot opposite Mayfair society . Residents say they do not know who sets fire to the garbage pile, but they said the municipal staff does not clear it every day .
In Katraj, the conservancy staff has found its own way out. They collect the waste and dump it on the banks of a stream flowing from Katraj lake and burn it every morning and evening.
“There is a compound wall to stream, but people throw stuff from the little space between the two walls.The PMC staff doesn’t clear it, but just burn it on the spot,“ said Rajesh Patil, a local resident. He said that people are also dumping huge garbage on open space near Arunodaya Society on the Katraj-Kondhwa road.
In Model Colony , garbage is burnt on the premises of Dharmesh Housing society .“I have sinusitis and it gets worse with the smoke. Also, burning sensation in the eyes is a major problem,“ complained a resident.
In mid-city areas, PMC staffers burn garbage in containers because the civic staff does not clear it for weeks.
Sanjay K, a resident of Mangalwar Peth, said the problem is a persistent one.“I don’t remember even one week passing by without smoke billowing out of one corner of our locality or the other. The waste contains everything from plastic, to paper, dry leaves and even sanitary napkins. We make big talk about pollution, but when it comes to action, nobody takes the responsibility.To start with, can’t we sepa rate plastic from the decomposable waste?“ he said.
The nature of problem is mostly the same across the city. No single person can be held responsible for the mess.
Citizens have started an online petition: `Stop burning of garbage in Pune, and take a lesson from Delhi’s pollution woes!’. The petition will be submitted to the municipal commissioner and the civic health chief soon.
Satish Khot, president of National Society for Clean Cities, said the PMC must play a significant role in garbage collection.
“Instead of giving this task to a third party, the civic body must be first line collector of waste. Only then people will segregate garbage and the PMC can take stringent action against those not falling in line. Segregation remains the problem and then open dumping and burning of garbage takes place,“ he said.
PMC’s solid waste management head Suresh Jagtap said, “During festive season, we receive more complains.The PMC has issued strict warnings to its staff against doing so. People must contact the respective ward office if they come across garbage burning,“ he said.
Source : TOI