Dwarka: Dry leaves have become a major problem in Dwarka recently, causing issues for the city's sanitation and appearance. They can be found everywhere, from residential societies to roads and by-lanes, and both civic agencies and the community are struggling to manage them. While people are sweeping the leaves and disposing of them in garbage dumping spots or along roads and footpaths, they often spread again in the area due to the wind.
Under pressure from senior officials in civic bodies like DDA and MCD, some people are also burning the leaves. However, this is not only polluting the environment but also damaging the green trees. Diwan Singh, an environmental activist from Dwarka, believes that this is a clear sign of the Municipal Corporation's failure to take the problem seriously.
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When asked about the burning and disposal of leaves, officials from civic agencies said that while such practices are against the law, they are sometimes forced to do so due to the lack of proper systems and resources to manage the leaves. Sweepers, for example, place the leaves in a single spot so that they can be lifted by corporation vehicles, but this must be done as soon as the leaves are swept. If they are left for too long, they can spread again, making it appear that the sweepers are not doing their job.
Ramesh Mumukshu, an RTI activist from Dwarka, has noticed heaps of leaves all around the city, with no civic authority taking responsibility for managing the issue. He believes that the burning of leaves across the sub-city is a clear violation of NGT orders.
Community members have also observed MCD workers burning waste and the DDA struggling to manage its horticulture waste. In parks owned by both the SDMC and DDA, compost pits are often set on fire, but only when they are full of leaves, indicating that it is not the work of outsiders.
Many people in Dwarka believe that the civic bodies have failed to take the problem seriously, and the leaves that could be used for composting are damaging the environment after being burnt. SS Mann, a resident of Sadbhavana Apartments in Sector 22 and president of Sukh Dukh ke Sathi, suggests that the corporation should lift the leaves on a daily basis and twice a day, instead of dumping them along roadsides. The heaps of leaves are a potential hazard and could cause a fire that could damage hundreds of trees and spread pollution.