RAYAGADA: Jasaswi, a five-year old girl of Rayagada town suffers from asthma and has to skip school to escape the smoke generated from the burning of garbage every morning. Jasaswi is among the hundreds of children who suffer from respiratory problems, thanks to unplanned solid waste disposal in Rayagada town.
People, who are already fighting dust and vehicular pollution, resent the indifferent attitude of the civic body in disposing of the town’s waste. Lack of solid waste management plan is a burning issue in areas under Rayagada Municipality besides urban and rural areas of the district.
The municipality staff collect garbage from the streets, dump it on the spot in residential areas of urban local bodies and burn it, caring two hoots for the air pollution and health hazards. The practice has been continuing in violation of the pollution control norms while a 12 acre dumping yard, identified near Antariguda village on the outskirts of town, remains unutilised.
The staff are engaged by a person who has been given the contract to collect garbage and clearly have no idea of the consquences of burning garbage in populated places.
A member of Team Swachh of Rayagada town Babula Sahu said, the Urban Local Body sould take steps to prevent damage to environment.
Regional Officer, Odisha State Pollution Control Board, Rayagada, A Ashok Kumar Chatterjee said the Supreme Court has banned use of polythene below 40 microns but its use is high in Rayagada district. Burning of polythene emits toxic gas which is harmful for humans.
Around 28 tonnes of solid waste is generated in the town daily and is dumped between Burdalpalamma and Majhigariani temples in three acres of land. The dumping yard on the outskirts of town remains unutilised dor reasons best known to authorities concerned.
Executive Officer, Rayagada Municipality, Suryamani Pattajoshi said “We have not directed any contractual staff to burn polythene and garbage in the town. It is the ignorance of the working staff which is causing such pollution related health problems but very soon we will take measures to ban illegal use of polythene and its burning”.