GUWAHATI, Feb 24 – Alleging that garbage dumping is being carried out at west Boragaon flouting all the rules related to conservation of the Deepor Beel, RTI activist Vinod Mandal said that the Guwahati Municipal Corporation was bluntly violating the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000.
Mandal, who has filed several RTI applications related to Deepor Beel and dumping of Guwahati’s municipal solid waste at Boragaon, said that the very decision of setting up the garbage dumping site at its present location was a blunder, which was badly affecting the ecosystem of Deepor Beel.
Concern is being raised time and again over the conservation of Deepor Beel, a large natural wetland and a Ramsar site, which is an important destination for migratory birds.
A part of the Deepor Beel was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1989, the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules were passed in 2000 and the wetland was declared as a Ramsar site in 2002, whereas the garbage dumping started near the wetland in 2006.
“There are guidelines for declaring eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries prohibiting and pollution causing industry within a certain periphery of such wildlife sanctuary.
Moreover, the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 also states that solid waste dumping or discharge of untreated waste and effluents, if any, existed within the wetland before the commencement of these rules shall be phased out within a period not exceeding six months from the date of commencement of these rules,” he added alleging that due to the absence of proper guard wall, discharge from the dumping site was seeping into the wetland.
A report from the Pollution Control Board, Assam provided in 2012 in response to an RTI application, also suggests that the Deepor Beel was being polluted due to garbage dumping. It also pointed out several violations of the MSW Rules including open boundaries, illegal settlement inside the dumping site, open burning of garbage and non segregation of bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes was going on in the site.
“Though there is a weigh bridge inside the dumping site, it’s lying non-functional. GMC, in response to the RTI has said that there are 140 dustbins in the city, but during a visit to the site it was found that more than 50 completely rotten and even new dustbins have been dumped at Boragaon, which is enough to tell the truth,” said Mandal.