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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Toxic fume worry for Cuttack

Cuttack, June 10: Burning of garbage mounds has become common in the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) limits, raising serious environmental concerns.

Local residents allege that a lot of sanitary supervisors have failed to ensure that sweepers and other employees do not burn garbage piles on the roadside.

“Solid municipal waste is being burnt by sweepers and others at different parts of the city. This is creating problems for the people staying in the surrounding areas,” said Kulamani Rout, 45, a resident of Dolamundai.

Rout said the garbage dumped at the compact bins near Badamabadi bus stand was burnt on Saturday. This was the second time that the solid municipal waste was burnt by the sweepers and it caused a lot of inconvenience to the passers-by and other people on the road.

Solid municipal waste is also being burnt at Proffessorpada, Debigada, Khannagar, CDA and other areas on a regular basis. This is mainly due to the callous attitude of senior officials, who have failed to take action against those burning garbage.

Experts say when garbage is burnt, it gives rise to several toxic compounds, which are pollutants and can prove hazardous to human health.

The bulk of the solid waste generated from the city consists of polythene and other bio-hazardous medical waste, which are not segregated and often dumped on the roadside.

“Apart from the sweepers, a lot of people also burn garbage inside their gardens and on the roadside. The CMC officials should initiate measures to penalise such people who are polluting the environment,” said Purnachandra Behera, 55, a resident of Rajabagicha.

The CMC has privatised the collection and disposal of municipal waste to Hyderabad-based Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited (REEL) in 36 out of the 54 wards. The CMC is engaged in the collection of solid waste in the remaining 18 wards.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the integrated solid waste management project on May 16 last year.

At present, REEL is carrying out the collection and disposal of solid waste from 102 transit points in different parts of the city.

“Sweepers are also burning garbage at different places and we will soon discuss the issue with CMC officials to initiate proper steps,” said REEL project head K. Srikant.

Srikant said it was risky to lift the garbage that has been set on fire, as it might again catch fire at the dumping yard.