The cantonment board dumps its garbage near a small quarry around half-akilometre inside the vast defence land located along the Pune-Mumbai highway near Nigdi.
The area shares a border with the residential areas of Rupeenagar in Talawade and sectors 21 and 22 in Nigdi.
Kayamgude, a resident of Shramik housing society , said, “Regular fires, darkness and fog-like atmosphere due to heavy smoke are common occurrences. Children have developed coughing problems. Light garbage like waste paper and plastic bags fly into the houses that are located along the border with the defence land.“
Chaman alias Musaida Shaikh, chairperson of F4 Gurudutt housing society in Sector 22, Nigdi, said, “Fires occur throughout the day and night at the site. People are forced to close doors and windows at all hours to keep away the smoke from the burning garbage. The smoke brings tears to our eyes. We were unable to sleep on Monday night.“ Another resident from Nigdi, Santosh Adsul added that even residents near Triveninagar chowk, which is more than 1km from the defence land, complain of smoke and other problems due to this burning garbage. Residents also add that the stench from the decomposing garbage ma garbage makes them nauseous at all times of the day.
Corporator Shubhangi Borhade’s husband Sanjay Borhade, who is a social worker, said, “The health of around 25,000 residents of ward 12 in Nigdi gaothan is affected due to this burning and decomposing garbage. The menace has increased after Diwali.“
Shashikiran Gawli, former NCP corporator and resident of Yamunanagar said that areas of Sector 21 and 22 in Nigdi are some of the worst affected. “Yamunanagar is more than 1km from the border of PCMC and defence land but still we face the problem,“ he added.
Amol Ugwe, a worker residing near Dnyandeep School in Talawade, said that his area is around 1.5km to 2km from the garbage dumping site. “However, we also suffer when the wind blows in our direction. Dizziness occurs. After dinner, we can’t even venture out of our houses for a walk due to this.“
Speaking to TOI, a cantonment health official on Monday said, “The cantonment does not have land for setting up its own garbage dump. So we have to dump the garbage on the open defence land. The DCB cannot construct anything there as we do not own this land. On an average, we dump around 8 to 10 tonnes of garbage collected daily from defence and civilian areas in DCB limits.Fires occur when the gas emanating from the decomposing garbage catches fire.The contractor has been directed to remove the non-biodegradable waste from the garbage to reduce dumping at this site.“
The problem of burning garbage has assumed serious proportions, especially in fringe areas which do not have an efficient garbage collection and disposal system in place. With the winter setting in, smoke from the burning garbage is causing serious respiratory ailments.There have also been instances where burning of garbage has damaged underground electricity cables, transformers and feeder pillars causing power interruptions. The civic administration has to find a scientific method to dispose of garbage. Composting plants can be set up in fringe areas as land could be easily available in these areas.
Source : TOI