Improvising their attempts to draw the government’s attention towards a civic mess in their locality, residents of several Noida sectors are writing postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. The thousand plus postcards, complains about the Noida Authority’s decision to dump garbage in a vacant plot in Sector 123.
This decision of sending postcards to the top administrators happened after the residents learnt about the authority’s decision to change its garbage dumpsite from a plot in Sector138A to the plot in Sector 123. Residents spoke to City Spidey about the problems that they would encounter because of this callous decision that ironically has a go ahead from the the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Officials had impressed before the green court that the plot in Sector 123 was already earmarked for a landfill site in the Master Plan of 2031. This has come as a shock for residents of sectors 117, 118, 119, 120, 121 and 122 that are in the vicinity.
A case against dumping of garbage was filed by residents of Sector 137 in October this year. The NGT had later ordered Noida Authority to stop the dumping of garbage in Sector 138 A and directed the authority to develop a waste-to-energy plant at the site within six months from the order date. This plant had to adhere to the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.
Anupam Oberoi, a resident of Sector 122 told City Spidey that residents of sectors that lie near Sector 123 have bought around 10,000 postcards to register their protest in front of the state and central governments. “Through this step, we want to change the Noida Authority’s decision of garbage dumping near our societies,” Oberoi said.
These postcards each come at a price of 50 paise. “All residents and Apartment Owner Associations (AoA) are funding the postcards and we already sent around one thousand postcards from different post offices today,” he added.
After the decision of shifting the garbage dump was taken in November 21, residents of these sectors have been continuously holding demonstrations. They have also met Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture seeking his intervention that did not come through.
Abhay Pandey, a resident of Homes 121, a society in Sector 121, told City Spidey that the dumpsite, whether temporary or permanent, would be hazardous to the health of residents. “There are, more than 30,000 families living in the neighbouring sectors. The dumpsite and the future waste-to-energy plant will only aggravate air pollution and contaminate groundwater,” he added.
According to the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, a landfill site should be 100 metres from a riverbed, and 200 metres from water bodies, highways, habitations, public parks and water supply wells. Also, landfills are not permitted near floodplains and should be at least 20 kms away from airports.
“Look at the pollution levels around the Ghazipur landfill site in Delhi. We will experience the same polluted air, bacteria and hazardous gases if a landfill site is allowed in Sector 123,” residents said.