Pune: Toxic Clouds Choke Hadapsar, Magarpatta City As PMC Fails To Tackle Garbage Burning

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Hadapsar, 14th April 2024: Despite directives from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the unabated practice of open garbage burning persists in Hadapsar.



Residents of Hadapsar point fingers at the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), accusing it of failing to enforce the Solid Waste (Management) Rules, 2016.


In Magarpatta City, where around 200 families reside, the air has become stifling due to the thick smoke emanating from garbage burning at the nearby Hadapsar industrial dumping site.


A major fire erupted at the depot on April 8, exacerbating air pollution in the area. Subsequently, instances of illegal garbage burning at the site have become commonplace, prompting residents to lodge complaints with the PMC and MPCB.


Swati Sharma, a resident of Magarpatta, lamented the recurring problem and the apparent inaction of authorities. “Despite PMC’s supposed actions and our complaints to the MPCB, the situation persists. Although there was a temporary improvement after MPCB’s intervention, illegal waste burning resumed on Saturday, enveloping our neighborhood in a dense blanket of smoke,” she said.


Sharma highlighted the dire consequences of the situation, especially for vulnerable groups. “Our children, elderly, and those with existing health conditions are forced to inhale this toxic smoke daily. There’s no respite as even opening windows invites smoke into our homes,” she added.


Last month, following NGT’s directives, MPCB issued proposed measures to PMC for its failure to adhere to environmental regulations and Solid Waste (Management) Rules, 2016.


While PMC presented short and long-term plans to curb pollution, residents argue that little has changed on the ground.


A senior MPCB official, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that a team from the pollution board inspected the area on Friday to assess the situation. “PMC attributes garbage burning incidents to the depot managed by the Pune Cantonment Board. However, our observations indicate frequent burning at a depot under PMC’s jurisdiction,” the official stated.


Sandip Kadam, head of the solid waste management department, assured that action is being taken against illegal burning and that notices have been issued recently. He clarified, “While the reported fire location doesn’t fall under PMC’s purview, we are investigating the matter and exploring preventive measures for the future.”