Smoke from trash burning chokes residents of Warje

  • | Friday | 8th December, 2023

PUNE: Residents of Warje claim that their area has become one of the most affected by illegal garbage burning in the city, with a frequent pall of acrid smoke hanging over the locality.Inhabitants pointed out that many private stall owners and commuters throw small heaps of garbage along the road from Uttamnagar to Karve Road. They claimed that Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) staffers also end up dumping collected garbage near the main highway and roads, leading to an extremely unhygienic situation for those living here as well as passing through.Local resident Riyaj Sheikh said, It is a bizarre situation.Many PMC staffers themselves burn the garbage dumped in the open and then collect the ash left behind in their vans, which is easier for them. Our workplaces are close to some large garbage pits that are constantly being burnt and we are forced to inhale smoke all day. The burning is significantly higher in slum pockets. We have complained repeatedly. PMC promptly fines some citizens who burn waste on roads, but is negligent but its own staff.Another resident, Deepak Baladhe, expressed frustration and said, This has been the case for years now. In every small lane, ones will see black patches of ash from garbage that was burnt. In market spots as well, trash is piled high.Teachers of Maharishi Karve Vidyalaya, close to a spot where chronic trash dumping takes place, said the children suffer when toxic smoke wafts around from garbage burning. They added that if the kids try to avoid this patch, they have to pass through another spot where miscreants indulge in public day-drinking. Sanjay Nandre, a staffer of the school, said, Garbage is burning whenever children arrive or leave the school. Teachers in the staffroom on the ground floor even have trouble breathing due to smoke inhalation. It is terrible. The children face a daily risk of developing respiratory diseases.Residents added that they are also battling other issues, such as bad roads, leaking sewage water and prevalent dust. Traffic is mismanaged and encroachers leave scarce space for pedestrians.Assistant municipal commissioner Rajesh Gurram of the Warje-Karvenagar ward office told TOI, We do not get many complaints about garbage burning, but since it seems to be been a prominent issue for residents, we will look into it. We ensure that we fine those burning garbage regularly to create awareness. For our staffers, we are stricter. The fines range from Rs500-2,000.

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