With resident's intervention, garbage burning stopped at Ghaziabad
Like everyday, Avinash Tamane, who works as a manager at a private bank and lives in Raj Nagar Extension, was cycling early on Thursday morning as a part of his fitness regime. While he was going towards Hindon Elevated Road, he spotted a dense black smoke engulfing clear sky from a distance.
He paddled towards it to find out its source. Enroute the elevated road, just after Nandigram village, there's Hindon Vihar colony. The colony is inhabited by hundreds of rag pickers who collect chemical and garbage and is home to dozens of garbage godowns.
Approaching near the colony, Tamane spotted a huge fire burning at a land inside the colony. Without any delay, he called fire brigade and within 20 minutes, the fire tender reached the spot and doused the fire.
The situation could have gone haywire as the fire spot was near to the garbage dumping area where tonnes of plastic waste are stored. The incident took place around 6 am and many people on the road and in the colony became silent spectator to it.
But Tamane, who is environmentally conscious person, bore the responsibility of a good samaritan and helped in averting a huge tragedy.
Despite the tragedy was averted, this incident posed a few questions. It is about the insensitivity of people towards environment and irregularity of civic bodies towards garbage disposal.
Tamane said that the incident was witnessed by dozens of people but nobody tried to call fire brigade or even douse the fire. “The fire was set in the garbage and in people's mind, setting garbage on fire has become a normal thing which is very problematic,” he said.
In view of high levels of pollution, an advisory was issued by district administration last week. It directed the public to not set garbage on fire and alert concerned authority if spotted. Besides, guidelines of Graded Response Action Plan was activated since October 15 in Delhi-NCR which further prohibits burning of garbage in its one month long duration.
CitySpidey spoke to officials of regional pollution control board. The officials said that they have received complaint of the incident and field officers are carrying out investigations to nab the culprit.
Vikrant Sharma, a noted environment activist in Ghaziabad said that civic bodies should have knowledge of the people dealing in garbage and trash in their area to set accountability during such fire incidents.
“Mostly these kind of fire are set by people who own godowns and do business in sale and purchase of garbage. This is an industry running without any check and balance. Registration is mandatory for even a cycle rickshaw puller or street vendor. Why are the dealers of garbage are not in the ambit?” Sharma asked.
Sharma also said that civic bodies must impose regularity in operations of the trading in garbage. “Registration with GDA or GMC should become mandatory and fire department must enforce necessary fire safety compliance in the hundreds of godowns and factories of garbage,” Sharma suggested.
“Only this way, we can control the rampant burning of fire and save fresh air for the citizens,” Sharma added.