Pune: Koregaon Park Residents Express Frustration Over Garbage Woes, Accuse PMC of Negligence

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Anaum Shaikh

Koregaon Park, 25th November 2023: The serene locality of Koregaon Park is currently marred by the presence of numerous garbage dumps in lanes 5, 6, and 7, North Main Road, and South Main Road. Residents, perturbed by the persistent issue, claim that their repeated complaints to local authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

Social activist Mehzabin Saiyed expressed her dismay, stating, “I pass by this area regularly. The sight and stench are unbearable. Citizens are paying a premium for flats in high-end localities, and this is the state of the so-called affluent areas. We are paying sanitation tax in our property tax bills, which is supposed to fund a quality garbage collection service. I wonder where that money is being utilized. This is not only unfair but also a waste of taxpayers’ money. To be fair, the tax collected from a particular area must be utilized in that area only.”

Rohan Desai, a resident, added, “It’s mostly garbage from restaurants nearby. The condition of garbage in the entire ward is getting worse day by day. We have an active mohalla committee and very active members who send complaints to PMC through PMC online numbers as well citizens’ WhatsApp groups, too…but no use. We citizens don’t feel any worth of our taxes paid.”

Sujata Biswas, another resident, raised concerns about pollution, stating, “Most of these are regular dumping spots, so we have asked Lakshmi Gaware (Sanitization Inspector) multiple times to put up cameras, especially on South Main Road where some people burn this garbage day and night causing smoke pollution. If you really want to know the extent of the garbage issue, take a walk on the road next to the railway track on the South Main Road. The garbage pile-up is so huge it will take years to clear. This is burnt regularly to the point that most families have had to buy air purifiers as we are all ending up with health issues like watery burning eyes, coughing, and sore throat. Every morning we wake up to the entire area filled with smoke. This has also been raised over and over with PMC but there is a constant blame game saying that the area falls under railway officials, but no one will give us the names of the concerned officials.”

Several other residents also voiced their grievances, citing difficulties navigating lanes 5, 6, and 7. They claim that unless they plead with PMC, no action is taken, and the local authority consistently delays addressing the problem. Residents are now urging regular inspections and prompt cleaning of the area to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

When Punekar News brought the issue to Lakshmi Gaware, PMC Area Sanitization Inspector, she responded, “We don’t have any such dumps in our area. Sweepers sweep the roads and collect them for the pickup vehicles. As of now, the dumps are lifted. It’s our daily work to clean roads.”