How a protected forest area is turning a veritable dump yard
With improper disposal and lack of garbage pickers, the entire zone has been reduced to a junkyard. Rubble from nearby construction sites and sacks of non-biodegradable waste material have been found dumped within its boundaries that has been instrumental in destroying the green area, forcing animals and birds to leave the spot.
Vikrant Tongad, an environmental activist, said that dumping of solid wastes in green areas, especially protected zones, is a clear violation of solid waste disposal rules. “Such practices cause long-term harm to the trees and the entire flora and fauna. Reserved forests are supposed to be protected but the local authorities have turned a blind eye to this problem. There must be a reserved place to dispose off solid wastes and other hazardous materials. In the absence of a dumping ground, garbage is being thrown here and there on the land and the quantity of debris is going up day by day,” Tongad said.
It is the duty of the local authorities, mainly the district forest department, to protect the reserved forests in the area. There should at least be a fence so that people do not dump wastes into the protected forest. Lack of a proper boundary around the forest fringes has led to easy access.
“Construction debris dumped over the years can be seen piled up and in alarming quantities,” added Tongad.
The forest department officials, however, said the local authority should check construction activities in the vicinity of forest zone as debris mainly come from construction sites.
“Dumping is usually done by people carrying out constructions in the vicinity. There should be a restriction on major construction activities around the area. Only then will there be no cause for dumping solid wastes. Sometimes, we take action against those involved in dumping activities but it is not possible to check such practices 24x7,” the official said.