Choked, Miyapur residents raise a stink over burning of waste

TNIE found workers sorting through piles of garbage and swarms of mosquitoes without masks or gloves. A young boy sat on a mound, not so far from a rat.
Smoke emanates from burning garbage at the Deepthisri Nagar transfer station in Miyapur on Thursday
Smoke emanates from burning garbage at the Deepthisri Nagar transfer station in Miyapur on Thursday| M Vidya Charan Reddy

HYDERABAD : Residents of colonies surrounding the Deepthisri Nagar transfer station, under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) Serilingampally zone, have been complaining of smoke and an intolerable stench from burning waste. According to residents, this has been going on for over 10 days and complaints to various government bodies have gone unheard.

G Mahathi, a resident of Maktha Mahabubpet in Miyapur, told TNIE that the transfer station became a dumping yard in the last 2–3 years. She added that the recent increase in pollution levels is giving sleepless nights to families residing near the area. “It is particularly bad between 12 am and 2 am. We are impacted as] my son, grandson and I have asthma,” she said.

When TNIE visited the site on Thursday, smoke was seen emanating from piles created across the yard. While food and plastic waste seemed to dominate the vast land, clothes, diapers, entire furniture sets and even medical waste could be seen strewn across. Alarmingly, all of this is just beyond the wall of a government school.

Mahathi, a retired teacher, has lodged complaints with the GHMC, Telangana Pollution Control Board (TGPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). “The GHMC staff is claiming that locals are burning the waste. Why would we do that,” Mahathi asked.

Young lives at risk?

The constant and unscientific burning also poses health risks for the workers, ragpickers and their families who live within the premises of the dumpyard. TNIE found workers sorting through piles of garbage and swarms of mosquitoes without masks or gloves. A young boy sat on a mound, not so far from a rat.

It may be recalled that a six-year-old boy was mauled to death by stray dogs in the dumping yard on June 5. The victim, Satvik, lived near the yard along with his father.

In her complaint to the CPCB, Mahathi has requested that the dumping yard be shifted to the outskirts of the city.

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