It took more than 36 hours for Noida Authority to douse a fire in a garbage dump near a residential sector. The reason: The sanitation officer couldn't locate the site!
A thick layer of smoke enveloped the residential area in Noida Sector 137 on September 25 afternoon. The situation turned so dire that a few residents began to experience breathing difficulties. That's when Nandini Srivastava, a resident of Paramount Floraville in Sector 137, decided to trace the origin of the smoke. To her surprise, she found that the illegal garbage dump across the road, which happens to be part of Sector 136, had been set on fire.
Srivastava immediately brought this to the notice of Noida Authority's health department through their WhatsApp group. She also sent video clips and photos of the fire and smoke emanating from the dump to BM Pokhariyal, project engineer (health) of Noida Authority, that very day. Surprisingly, however, it took more than 36 hours for the Authority to react.
Upon receiving the video clips and photos, the officer responded by saying that he would initiate action only after investigating the matter. But after phone calls from other residents flooded his office, he sent officers to douse the fire. They, however, could not locate the garbage dump.
YK Harish, sanitation inspector of Noida Authority, admitted that they were delayed because though, according to the complaint, the site was in Sector 137, it was actually in Sector 136 — just across the road.
Calling the reason ridiculous, Srivastava pointed out the lackadaisical attitude of the sanitation inspector. "Can you imagine that the inspector himself is not aware of the garbage dumps in the area? Finally, on the morning of the 27th, a water tanker arrived and doused the fire — 36 hours after the first complaint was lodged!" she told City Spidey.
The Authority has earmarked an area in Sector 138, far removed from the residential area, as a garbage dump. But nobody really knows how this vacant spot in Sector 136 turned into one. Some say private garbage collectors and contractors encroached upon this vacant plot.
It is also important to note that in order to control pollution, the National Green Tribunal has put a blanket ban on burning garbage in the open. If caught doing so, the accused is to be fined Rs 5,000.
Harish said that investigation was on to find out who started dumping garbage in Sector 136, and who set fire to it. However, his staff remains in the dark at the moment.