GURGAON: After the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order banning diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi-NCR, city-based environmentalists say they now look forward to new guidelines by the green court to restrain people and civic agencies from burning waste in the open.
“Imposing a ban is the beginning. Decision-makers must also suggest an alternative way of disposing of waste so that the transformation from the existing practice to a new one is smooth,” said environmentalist Chetan Agrawal.
He added, “It’s important to sensitize stakeholders about the need to curb the burning of bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste. At the end of the day, sanitation workers burn waste. Educating them is more important than making this a punishable offence.”
Vakul Cowshik, a social activist, had similar views. “Half of the problem of preventing burning of waste can be solved if we inculcate the habit of segregating it properly. The government should run an aggressive campaign to educate people.”
Another environmentalist, #Vivek #Kamboj, founder of #NGO Haryali, said, “The directive is already in force in the national capital and will soon be implemented in Gurgaon. For an effective implementation, active involvement of RWAs is mandatory.”
He added, “A new practice of removal of leaves and plastic from dumping grounds should be evolved. Burning of leaves and plastic happens because municipal workers stack them at one place don’t remove them for a day or two.”
Some experts suggested innovative and scientific solutions to the problem.
“When we know burning of waste can be toxic and it pollutes the air, we should look for innovative ways to dispose of it. We can compost of bio-degradable waste, while the non-bio-degradables can be disposed of scientifically without harming the environment,” says Amina Shervani, an environmentalist.
The city’s civic body said it is the job of the district administration to penalize those who are found burning waste. “Burning of waste happens mainly in residential areas that are under RWAs. The district administration has the right to take action against such offenders,” a senior MCG official told TOI.
The district administration claimed it does take action as and when something comes to its knowledge, but shortage of staff prevents them it from taking sustained action.
TNN | Apr 14, 2015, 03.55 AM IST