One man’s fight against environmental pollution

Srinivasan Edamana has filed a petition in the High Court against the illegal burning of dry leaves along with plastic in  Cheranalloor panchayat
One man’s fight against environmental pollution

The Amazon rainforest fires, Australian bushfires, snowfall in warm countries, rains during the winter season, the list is unending and a clear indicator of climate change.  As the state government tries to abide by its single-use plastic ban, it fails to remember that towns are grappling another environmental concern. The burning of dry leaves.

By evening, Cheranalloor Panchayat in Chittoor is enveloped by smog. The air turns toxic and triggers choking. The reason? The burning of dry leaves in the open. To fight against this, native and River Protection Council joint secretary Srinivasan Edamana filed a petition in the High Court. 
Srinivasan was concerned about the illegal burning of dry leaves along with plastic and questioned the panchayat about the same. Currently battling it against the panchayat which ought to be responsible for the organic and inorganic waste under their jurisdiction, Srinivasan aims to ban burning dry leaves in the region and eventually Kochi city. 

“As per the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, authorities are responsible for preventing environmental pollution in all forms. Several people are unaware of the problems it brings. Burning dry leaves releases carbon monoxide and damages the lungs. Shopkeepers require a licence from the corporation before they run a business citing that waste will be disposed of efficiently. However, they’re involved in burning solid waste in the open too. These are highly dangerous during the dry season as sparks can spread quickly and set an entire area alight,” said Srinivasan.  

As a solution, Srinivasan suggests leaf composting. “Through the petition I’ve filed, I hope the HC bans the burning of dry leaves completely. Leaf composters are manufactured in Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru. After the process, leaves are converted to organic fertilisers which in turn can be used for cultivation,” he said. 

However, Cheranalloor panchayat junior superintendent Gayathri M V said that upon enquiry, they hadn’t found similar reports. “Moreover, burning dry leaves in one’s backyard is not under the purview of the panchayat. We can intervene only when plastic is involved,” she said.

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The New Indian Express