ITANAGAR, 10 May: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed at the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court, seeking action from the state government to shift or relocate the solid waste/garbage dumping area in Aalo in West Siang district.
The garbage disposal site is situated on the roadside near the common burial ground, and is about 200 metres away from Hissam village, besides several other rural villages.
The petitioner, Reken Ingo, informed the court that the garbage of Aalo town and medical wastes are being rampantly dumped every day in heavy amounts by the Aalo division of the urban development & housing (UD&H) department without following various guidelines, norms and rules.
Saying that “the area is not properly protected with fence and the entry of livestock or rearing cattle is a daily routine,” the petitioner informed that “the area becomes more like a cattle shed” and leads to disease among the animals.
“The garbage dumped in the dumping zone directly surges to the Mebbu stream tributary of the mighty Yomgo river, located just 10-15 metres ahead of the present dumping zone. As such, it pollutes the Yomgo river with medical wastes and other garbage,” the petitioner said.
Besides complaining about the odour that emanates from unmindful dumping, the petitioner highlighted the health hazards associated with a waste dumping site located close to residential areas of the town.
“This stretch of the road is one of the most important roads that connects West Siang and Shi-Yomi districts to the rest of the state. The present dumping zone is located at the main entry point of Aalo town, the district headquarters of West Siang. As such, it gives a bad impression of the district headquarters to the visitors from different parts of the world,” the petitioners said.
Counsel for Ingo and human rights advocate, Madan Mili said, “The issue of such a poorly managed solid waste disposal site or perhaps not managed at all, is the same in almost all the districts. We should not forget that our capital has also been ranked 7th dirtiest city in the country.”
He also informed that RTI responses revealed that the urban development department does not have proper guidelines for disposal of waste.
“It is surprising that the department does not have guidelines. The state government should make an endeavour to protect and improve the environment. Improper disposal of waste is a serious problem affecting the environment and its inhabitants and it must be addressed without delay. This is something very fundamental for us,” Mili said.
The court has issued a notice, returnable in six weeks, to the state government, including the UD&H department, the Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, the deputy commissioner of West Siang, the chairman of the District Health Society of West Siang, the district medical officer and the executive engineer-cum-deputy director of the UD&H department.