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Dadu Majra dump in Chandigarh poses a threat to lives of 50,000 citizens: PIL in Punjab and Haryana HC

The petition filed by Amit Sharma, a resident of Sector 27, has claimed gross violation of fundamental rights of over 50,000 citizens living in the vicinity of the Dadu Majra garbage dump.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 15, 2021 11:26:17 am
The frequent fires that release toxins in the air on an urgent basis to address the various health issues being faced by over 50,000 people in the vicinity.(Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

A Chandigarh resident has filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) at the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the Municipal Corporation and other authorities of Chandigarh to ensure an end to the air pollution suffered by the people of Dadu Majra and surrounding areas. The matter is yet to come up for hearing before the High Court.

The petition filed by Amit Sharma, a resident of Sector 27, has claimed gross violation of fundamental rights of over 50,000 citizens living in the vicinity of the Dadu Majra garbage dump.

Sharma has contended in the petition that, “there is an imminent threat to the health and lives of the citizens living in Dadu Majra, Dhanas and the adjoining areas because of the violation of laws/rules/norms by the Medical Officer Health, Municipal Corporation, and the Chandigarh Administration.”

“Dadu Majra/Dhanas had 107 percent more cases of pneumonia in 2020 as compared to all other colonies in Chandigarh. A study shared by GMCH-32 in an RTI suggests that people with lung diseases/respiratory issues are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 (Research in progress)…The wretched quality of air and life in the area is further aggravated by the frequent toxic fires in the mountain of garbage that is only getting higher by the day. With the MC able to process a mere 13.36 percent of the waste dumped here last year, and only 16.09 percent from January to May in 2021, the problem of unprocessed garbage is threatening to swamp the Dadu Majra area…It is also leading to increased incidents of fire in the dump, that the MOH is neither able to prevent nor explain. The fire in March this year lasted a week and covered the entire city in a haze, hindering visibility and causing respiratory issues among people in the vicinity”, submits Sharma in the petition.

Sharma further adds that the MOH (Medical Officer of Health), MC has willfully failed to manage the waste, the fires, and the health of the people in the area. Things have come to this pass only because the authorities have been violating the laid down laws/rules with impunity.

He has thus sought directions to the MC and other state authorities to ensure and end to the air pollution, unbearable stench, and the frequent fires that release toxins in the air on an urgent basis to address the various health issues being faced by over 50,000 people in the vicinity. And also, that they follow the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 to reduce the quantum of garbage dumped at Dadu Majra.

The petitioner has further sought a probe into the MC’s failure to follow the directions given by NGT on waste management and processing, and also, why were Environmental laws flouted, and what is the outcome of the crores of taxpayers’ money spent on study tours for waste management.

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