On Sunday evening, while returning from Delhi, Ruchika Sethi, an active member of Citizens For Clean Air, a Gurugram based civil society group, saw dark smoke clouds emanating from a vacant plot near her society. Being a clean air campaigner, she immediately called up the fire brigade to douse the fire in order to control pollution particles from spreading in the neighborhood and adding to the respirable air pollution. She wrote a facebook post on what happened and how she persued the subject.
CitySpidey contacted Ruchika to ask about this incident and learnt that such occurances are frequent in the city. People like Ruchika have been making efforts to report these violations. Ruchika said, “There is still not enough awareness among people and the authorities, whose job is to educate people of the risks to human health on inhaling smoke from municipal solid waste fires as well provide adequate municipal collection services to all categories of waste generators thereby preventing open burning of SWM". We should care for our environment, our health and the health of our city by ensuring that waste burning is completely stopped.
The post of Ruchika says- “Around 5.30 pm saw plumes of smoke coming from Nirvana / Mayfield junction Sector 50 ( area where I reside) I did not ignore it but drove down to the spot and saw fire on hazardous category of waste ie mattress as well plastics called the fire brigade gave them the location requested immediate dousing of this spot fire. I also called up the municipal corporations sanitary inspector and informed him the location and nature of fire. My daughter was in the car so I dropped my daughter home and went back to spot to investigate a bit as well make sure the fire brigade finds the location and douses the entire heap, there should be zero emissions.
I spoke to local bystanders and street vendors across this road equipped with some more information decided to address the group of children from the near by slum cluster in Tigra village who had set this waste to fire. Tried to talk to them , well I was short of screaming. A lot of their slum cluster garbage gets dumped here so they do think burning it is one way of 'reducing' the waste load as well 'clearing' it and it 'fun' seeing the plumes of smoke and the crackling sounds.
The point is , these very emissions add to our respirable air pollutants and sits in our lungs, and ofcourse is the smog you get to see during the temperature inversion period. It's a request to all to please be vigilant and report any fire you see to the fire brigade which promptly arrives to douse the smoke.
You can also take picture and upload to CCPB twitter handle after calling fire brigade.Every fire doused helps mitigate the air pollution in our neighborhood and protects our lungs and all organs. Stay vigilant Stay Safe.”
Ruchika shared her experience in various resident’s whatsapp groups , social media etc to make the community aware about how important role a person could play in being a change and bringing a change in the society.