What do you do when civic agencies responsible for managing horticultural waste do nothing about it? You burn it. And that's what Dwarka residents and those from the authorities working at the grassroots level are doing, faced with inaction from DDA and SDMC.
The practice has become rampant in the sub-city. Burnt leaves and branches can be seen near societies and at garbage-dumping spots. Private sweepers also say they are burning waste as a last resort.
A private sweeper of a society in Sector 6 says, "We collect leaves and pruned branches, and dump them at the nearest dumping spot outside the society or in vacant plots. Neither the corporation, nor the DDA bothers to clear this waste. We are often under pressure to manage such waste, and we don't have an option but to burn it. We know it’s not good, but what is the solution?"
While civic agencies are not doing enough to address the issue, the RWAs don’t seem bothered about it either and ask their staff to burn horticultural waste.
Residents also seem to have a similar approach towards dealing with such waste. P Menon, a resident of Ashirvad Apartments in Sector 12, says, "Yes, I agree that burning of leaves is rampant in Dwarka. There's a vacant plot in Sector 11 where you can see burning of such waste. But I feel civic bodies are more responsible for this than the community. They have not provided a proper system for waste management. Moreover, they haven’t been able to enforce the laws against burning. We have been raising the issue in meetings but nothing is being done."
Meanwhile, environmentalists fear that the burning of leaves will increase in the summers. Diwan Singh, an environmentalist and a resident of Shaman Apartments, Sector 23, says the authorities concerned are not serious about the subject.
“Everyone knows what is happening. But I haven’t seen or heard of any challan being issued to residents or agencies responsible for this burning. It’s just sad. The authorities that should ensure that this does not happen do nothing about it. The whole waste-management system is inept. If only there would've been a proper system in place, this horticultural burning by residents would stop. Nobody wants pollution,” says Diwan.