Despite a ban, open burning of waste continues in Delhi. The satellite images by NASA throw up disturbing questions about the role of authorities meant to control this practice.
Despite a ban, open burning of waste continues in Delhi. In fact, over the last few days, NASA satellites have picked up several “red dots” inside Delhi, including Dwarka, Najafgarh, Narela, Bawana and Gurgaon.
A resident of Sri Agrasen Apartments in Sector 7, AK Parashar, who has been following up the matter closely, said, “Mostly fire has been noticed at dhalaos or vacant plots. We have filed cases with various authorities and commissions, including the National Human Rights Commission. South Delhi Municipal Corporation claims to have submitted some report after a delay of more than a year and also claims to have constituted a committee — but I know of none.”
Parashar showed City Spidey some recent photographs of open garbage burning taken by him and his friends — he also shared the same on various social media groups.
In fact, yesterday night too, a fire was noticed on the vacant plot near Sargodha Apartments in Sector 7, and fire tenders were also pressed into service.
There are hundreds of such places where burning of garbage and horticulture waste happens openly — at Sector 3, in front of DDA Park; at Sector 20 near Bharat Vandana Prangan; at Sector 8; Sector 18.
An environment activist and resident of Sector 5, Sumit Srivastav, said, “This is really unfortunate. Despite knowing the reality neither the Corporation nor the DDA or the state government are doing anything to stop the practice completely.”
Unfortunately, owing to this open burning, plants along Najafgarh Drain have been burnt down too — hundreds of well-grown trees can be seen in a burnt state along the drain. Stubble burning is persistent too in villages like Chhawla, Ghumanhera, Jhatikra, Mitraon, Kagan Heri and others.
Commenting on burning along Najafgarh Drain, Diwan Singh, an environment activist from Dwarka working on conservation of water bodies and convener of Natural Heritage First, said, “There’s substantial loss of biodiversity and green cover in such fires. The flora and fauna along Najafgarh Drain area has been a victim of such fires.”
Diwan added, “Nobody is serious about the loss whether it’s Delhi government, the DDA or the MCD. No efforts are made to prevent such fires. And with the onset of winters and the dry weather, this practice will again flourish along railway lines, canals, drains and even parks.”