JORHAT, Feb 9 - Citizens representing different professions and social strata expressed deep concern over the severe health hazards faced by the residents of Garamur and its surrounding areas here, besides several other localities, and came together yesterday in a candle-lit protest against the Jorhat Municipal Board’s burning of garbage at the civic body’s trenching ground.
The group that included advocates, social workers, Government employees, businessmen, traders, educationists, politicians, including past and present Jorhat Municipal Board ward commissioners, were protesting against the JMB and the district administration, for the artificial fog enveloping Garamur and many other areas here since over a week back due to heavy smoke spiralling out of the burnt garbage at the JMB trenching ground at Garamur.
As a result of the burning activity, thick black smoke billowing out creates an artificial fog in the Garamur area, which is fanned out to the adjoining localities by occasional wind.
The group of citizens carrying burning candles organised a meeting in which speaker after speaker lambasted the JMB, district administration and the two people’s representatives, namely Jorhat MLA Hitendra Nath Goswami, who is also the State Assembly Speaker and Jorhat MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, for turning a blind eye towards the matter that was aggravating as the days passed.
The citizens’ group while coming down heavily on the JMB and the local elected representatives, also resolved to undertake a strong agitational programme if no action was taken within a week by the JMB and the district administration to stop garbage burning.
All the speakers took the JMB to task in view of the JMB being currently run by the BJP, witnessing bitter infighting, leading to the present JMB Chairman Jayanta Borkakoty getting a no-trust motion against him passed by nine ward commissioners from his saffron party with seven Congress ward commissioners supporting the same and submitting a letter to the former Deputy Commissioner Narayan Konwar.
Konwar, it may be mentioned, recently relinquished charge as he was transferred to Dispur.
The new Jorhat DC Roshni A Korati, who on assuming charge on February 2, went out of station two days later due to some important work, is expected to take a call on the issue of no-trust motion passed against Borkakoty once she joins work.
It may be mentioned here that daily dumping of garbage at the open area next to the cremation ground and burning the same since a long time back was causing largescale pollution in the surrounding areas. Residents of the nearby areas since the past few years have been complaining of serious health problems like difficulty in breathing and various kinds of lung and heart ailments.
Along with the local people, several organisations too have been from time to time undertaking numerous protest programmes at the site, at the JMB office and also in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner’s office and also blocked the Garamur road, but have only elicited assurances, with garbage dumping continuing unabated and burning of the same causing pollution leading to serious health ailments plauging the people of Garamur and its surrounding places.
On November last year, the Jorhat district unit of AASU submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to intervene in the matter and order a complete stop to dumping and burning of garbage at the site at the earliest and instruct the Jorhat Municipal Board to undertake a scientific waste disposal management project.