‘Garbage Transfer Station’ in the heart of city posing health hazards for residents

‘Garbage Transfer Station’ in the heart of city posing health hazards for residents

Nehal Jain | September 14, 2018 18:18 hrs

GUWAHATI: It has become rather unpleasant for the residents of Manik Nagar, RG Baruah Road (popularly Zoo Road) to open the doors and windows of their houses due to the garbage dumped on its margin on a daily basis.

This is due to the ‘Garbage Transfer Station’ set up by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) right at the head of the Manik Nagar stretch. The residents, businessmen and commuters alike, have expressed discontent over the presence of a garbage site at this prime location.

“It was a terrible decision by the administration to set up the garbage station in a residential area. It’s like they did not put any thought into the decision and set up the dump on the main road,” informed Rahul Das, the secretary of Royale Pearl Apartment (House no 1) that is situated right behind the garbage plant.

He further emphasized that the residents of the apartment are worst affected by the dump since the foul stench reaches their house and they’re unable to even open the windows for fresh air. Additionally, Das told G Plus that while the residents have complained of the problems via social media platforms in the past, they’re now resorting to write an official letter to the GMC regarding the same. 

In the same vein, the owner of a restaurant that runs close to the garbage station said, “Every morning from around 9 AM to 1 PM we are exposed to the foul smell that wafts out of the dumpster. That is the time that the garbage collected from around the area reaches the dump and the segregation work begins.

While a lot of customers used to eat breakfast and lunch during this particular time period earlier, the situation has changed drastically over the years because people do not want to eat their food amidst the stink of garbage and drainage.”

The waste products that reach the dump are segregated into reusable and non-reusable wastes and tied up in sacks. Later in the evening, the garbage sacks are loaded onto a large truck that visits the site once a day and are taken away. 

Until the truck arrives, the sacks are scattered all over the road, complained the residents of Manik Nagar. They further added, “Sometimes the entire entry point of Manik Nagar from Zoo Road gets blocked by the garbage. At other times, it’s spread across the main road which causes massive traffic jams.”

The stretch of Zoo Road, that is a crucial artery of the city, has witnessed a huge growth in the volume of traffic in recent years. But, the commuters too are having a harrowing experience crossing the large pile of dump. The foul smell that comes out of the site adds to the harrowing experience.

GMC mulls plan to procure equipments to curb the problem

The garbage spread on the road not only gives off a foul, unbearable stench but is also a source of health problems. While ‘Garbage Transfer Station’ that was set up at Manik Nagar by the GMC back in 2015, wasn’t always a source of problem, the officials too have been lately receiving multiple complaints regarding the same.
Speaking to G Plus, Manojit Bujarbaruah, executive engineer of GMC said, “The idea behind the transfer station is to transfer garbage in enclosed space, instead of open. Hence, garbage lying outside the station is not acceptable and should be curbed at the earliest. The issue has come to light very recently and we suspect that the reason behind the menace is shortage of compacter vehicles.

“Presently, we have one compacter vehicle and one garbage truck to carry the garbage from the station to the dump located at Boragaon. By the time the truck dumps the garbage and comes back for another trip, more garbage gets collected at the station. We are currently procuring more equipment for garbage collection and vehicles for waste segregation to curb the problem, which can be expected to be solved in a month’s time.”

In a move to curb the ever-growing problem of waste and its disposal, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) recently launched an awareness campaign in the city with the aim to promote waste segregation at source. 

Additionally, a highly placed source at the GMC told G Plus that Guwahati will receive 400 more litter bins before Durga Puja this year; these dustbins will be installed across all major commercial areas. 

Earlier, when asked about the performance of the NGOs working in tandem with the GMC that are responsible for collection of garbage from across the city, Manojit Bujarbaruah said, “Among the NGOs, some are working efficiently while others are average and a few are not taking their work seriously at all. We, at GMC, have identified 11 such NGOs whose performances have been really bad and we’re taking strict action against them. Not only are they being penalized, their contracts will also being terminated if they do not start functioning properly.”

At a time when the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) led state as well as national government is laying a lot of emphasis on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, citizens of Guwahati have been continually expressing discontent over the steps being taken by the administration towards achieving its cleanliness goals.

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