Uruli Devachi, Phursungi residents grapple with respiratory and vector-borne diseases
On World Environment Day, Sakal Times highlights the health problems being faced by residents of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi due to the presence of garbage depot and unprocessed waste in the area
Pune: When the entire world is celebrating World Environment Day, infants, children and senior citizens at Uruli Devachi and Phursungi are facing respiratory and vector-borne diseases.
Sadly, neither the administration nor the residents of Pune (the garbage from Pune city is dumped here) are taking enough steps to avert the danger lurking in the future.
Since 2013, the semi-processing units are under arbitration, due to which the garbage is not getting processed at the landfill site. The result is respiratory and vector-borne diseases are on the rise. The fact has been confirmed by Sarika Bhadhale, resident and a doctor from Uruli.
Dr Bhadhale told Sakal Times that five months back, a infant child was not able to breathe properly as he was born at a place close to the garbage depot and he started facing respiratory problems. He was on ventilator for almost a month. Due to bad air conditions and foul smell, the infant suffered a lot.
She said two months back, an 80-year-old lady was suffering from a respiratory problem due to the foul smell emanating from the depot.
There are cases reported about how senior citizens face respiratory problems due to accidental fires that take place in the depot. “Those with low immunity are prone to such kinds of problems,” she said.
Bhagwan Bhadhale, President of Uruli Devachi Kachra Depot Hatao Sangharsh Samiti, said the population of Uruli and Phursungi is growing and the population of both villages has touched 50,000. “We have staged several protests to shift the depot to another place but we only get negative answers from the Pune Municipal Corporation, due to which the residents suffer,” he said.
Rajendra Sathav, another resident and doctor in Phursungi said, “In monsoon, the vector-borne diseases aggravates. Mostly malaria and dengue spreads among the citizens. During the recent dengue outbreak, 70 per cent of the total population suffered due to it. Most of the patient’s platelets were less than 30 to 40 thousand, which was scary.”
Sathav said, “The borewell is situated next to the depot, where the filtration takes place. Sometimes the citizens get red, brown or green coloured water from their taps. In this situation we warn them to not to use it for any purpose. Residents then call for tanker water.”
Vaishali Jadhav, Assistant Medical Health Officer of PMC said, “Every week we spray pesticides to curb the diseases and it helps. Since the processing plants are not working, the medical cases are likely to increase. But there is no solution unless the depot is shifted to another place.”
Shankar Harpale, Sarpanch of Phursungi said, “We are tired of these problems. We do not have any option but to stay in the village itself. We are trying our level best to explain the condition to the civic authority and government. We hope that they understand the severity and take steps to move the depot elsewhere.”
Most plastic waste cannot be recycled
Pune city is generating 130 tonnes of plastic waste which includes more than 15 per cent waste of gutkha and Pan Masala. The corporation cannot recycle 50 per cent plastic waste. The information was revealed during a Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Swachh joint survey held between May 16 and 20 in Bavdhan, Kothrud, Garware bridge area near Mutha river bank. Gutkha, pan masala pouches, shampoo pouches, biscuits, kurkure and wafers wrappers cannot be recycled. Out of total plastic waste, 87 per cent plastic waste is of Indian brand products while only 13 per cent waste is belongs to international brand products.