Villagers demand study on impact of waste on health

By Times Of India on 29 Apr 2017 | read
PUNE: The villagers of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi have asked the state government to commence the study on the garbage depot's impact on their health and compensate them for it.

The villagers have submitted a memorandum to district collector's office, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to share the responsibility of creating health hazard in the two villages. About 1.5 lakh residents of the two villages and surrounding hamlets allegedly suffer because of contaminated water, foul smell and unhygienic living conditions.

The villagers have been agitating against the PMC for almost two weeks demanding an end to open dumping of garbage. The village youths, who have taken an aggressive stand on the issue, want the MPCB to gauge the impact of garbage dumping on air, water and quality of life. The village youths said they were waiting for the National Green Tribunal order on the issue.

"If the MPCB gives us in writing there is no harm in dumping garbage in the open, we shall allow the PMC to dispose of trash here. Also, the district collector's office must clarify its role in the matter," said Dilip Mehta, representing the villagers.

The garbage depot was started in Uruli in 1981. Just 43-acre land was acquired in Uruli Devachi for it. Another 120 acres of land in the adjoining Phursungi village was brought under garbage depot in 2003.

Initially, the dumped garbage was free of plastic. Hence, nearby farmers used it as fertilizer. After mixed garbage, including plastic bags and material, started coming to the depot, the farmers stopped using it as fertilizer.

In the past couple of years, all processing units of the PMC in the depot have pulled down shutters for various reasons. Hence, the civic body dumps garbage without any segregation.