Garbage burning is going on in Gurugram unabated. The blanket ban imposed by the administration on burning of waste does not seem to have made any headway in stopping the practice as the people in different parts of the city are burning their waste flouting the ban with impunity.
Enlightened residents feel helpless amidst the smoggy atmosphere as they are unable to do anything about it. They complain that the authorities have failed to address many civic issues of the city. Rampant garbage burning in the open is one of them.
Waste burning in vacant plots and illegal dumping grounds have been witnessed in many areas including Sectors 12, 18, 23, 41 and 37.
Yadvendra Yadav, a resident of sector 37 D, says, “The land earmarked for stadium has now become a garbage dump. One can witness violation of ban on garbage burning there. Despite a provision for penalty on waste burning in open spaces, no action has ever been taken on against those flouting the ban. People burn garbage during dark so that no one can identify them."
Air quality in the city is deteriorating due to the practice. Locals blame it for the smog filled air they feel during winters.
Ruchika Sethi, founder of Citizens For Clean Air, said, “It seems the government officials are not concerned over the poor air quality. They should address the issue before it is too late. Since the authorities are not taking action against garbage burning, people consider it as normal.”
She further said, "As winters are approaching, the authorities must take measures and work for mass awareness on open burning on the lines of awareness on dengue, polio, etc. They also need to adopt an integrated waste management, dust containment measures and identify and repair roads that generate dust to improve quality of air."
The residents alleged that in the absence of proper mechanism for garbage collection, segregation and disposal in the city, the miscreants try to justify their act saying that it was the easiest way to get rid off the waste. “Despite the strict vigil we keep on streets we are unable to check the practice as those who indulge in it won't pay heed to our pleas,” said Ritu Bharadwaj, a resident of Sector 12.
Meanwhile, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) officials claim to have imposed fine on those who have violated rules in the past. The corporation had fined 212 violators in 2018 and 111 in 2017, an increase from 52 in 2016.