PUNE: Even as residents of Hinjawadi, the sprawling IT hub of Pune, are complaining about incessant garbage dumping and burning on the banks of Mula river, the gram panchayats of Mann and Hinjawadi are lagging in taking action.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials claim that it has been 15 days since the two gram panchayats were issued notices under the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules to dispose of the garbage responsibly in their jurisdiction.
However, Tulsiram Ruikar, gram vikas officer for both the villages, said he hasn’t received any such notice yet. “We cannot keep a check continuously, as there are several open spaces in Hinjawadi,” he told Sakal Times, but said, “Those dumping and burning garbage have been identified and action will be taken.”
HD Gandhe, sub-regional officer of MPCB, revealed that the notice mentions that according to the new rule set by the Maharashtra government, the local bodies will be responsible for setting up, operationalisation and co-ordination of the waste management system and for performing associated functions.
Gandhe said, “The response from gram panchayat is still awaited.”
RESIDENTS REACT STRONGLY
A few days ago, we saw trucks dumping debris and garbage on the riverbed and, on May 17 (Thursday) at 4 pm, we saw someone set it on fire. Smoke is still coming out from the burned garbage due to which we are inhaling toxic fumes and our houses are stinking. Mula is the main source of water for Pune city.
— Rohit Halbe, resident of Blue Ridge Township
As our society is just next to the river bed, our children are suffering due to it. Thankfully no health cases have been reported yet but if it continues, there will be health issues for sure. After repeated complaints made to the authorities including the Fire Department, police station, gram panchayat and MPCB, no one is coming forward to solve this issue and take remedial measures.
— Radha Rani (name changed), resident of a nearby housing society.