Wagholi and Kharadi residents in Pune choke in polluted air due to garbage burning

Hundreds of residents in the eastern suburbs of Wagholi and Kharadi are facing serious issues related to rampant and large-scale garbage burning in the area. The residents, especially small children, patients and elderly citizens are suffering from serious breathing issues due to pollutants floating in the early morning air and the burning plastic waste set on fire by miscreants.

In Kharadi, indiscriminately dumped garbage on the open ground was set on the fire late night and at odd hours leading to breathlessness and pollution in the area, claimed area residents.

“During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, burning garbage is a crime and investigation needs to be done regarding who is behind the incidents. The CCTV surveillance project of PMC must be used to catch the culprits,” said Ameya Jadhav, a Kharadi resident.

“Wagholi is suffering due to unplanned infrastructure and air pollution has increased considerably during the last few months as the main contributor is ineffective waste management. Since the existing waste treatment facility is in shambles, miscreants are burning the garbage openly during the night and endangering our lives. We have reported this issue to the gram panchayats and the concerned departments but to no avail,” he said.

Satish Joshi, the former secretary of Marvel Cerise co-operative housing society and vice-chairman of Kharadi resident association said, “For the past three weeks, we are facing issues related to heavy smoke in the air and Kharadi residents are finding it difficult to breathe. The air outside has become unbearable now. Burning garbage is illegal and we wonder what is preventing the PMC from acting against the offenders.”

PMC joint commissioner and solid waste management department head Dnyaneshwar Molak said, “Based on the complaints, a fact-finding team will visit the spot and take necessary action soon. The citizens must inform us about the incidents so that appropriate action will be taken.”

Prashant Ranpise, PMC fire chief said, “Whenever the fire department control room receives a call about a fire our primary responsibility is to respond to the call in real-time and bring the fire under control. The maximum number of fires due to garbage burning is reported in the months of October, November and December. Garbage fire is major ones and we are keeping a close tab on such type of incidents in the city and surrounding areas.”

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