Garbage in the Hills is an asset, isn’t it? As it is a replica of The Mini Man-Made Himalayas.
Most of you might be wondering and assuming that have I gone bonkers, how can filth be an asset? Well!! If garbage in the hills is no asset then why are we stacking it up as if its our new Jimmy Choo collection. The piles of muck & plastic are increasing in the capital with each passing day. The rivers which were once a heritage sight are now trash cans. Waste management in the hills is getting miserable because of which the plight of the town is soul-crushing.
Dehradun which was once known as ‘the city of grey hair and green hedges’ is more of a ‘human effluent’ now. The city is surely expanding but so is the size of its problems. Dehradun is the capital of the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand, the word Himalaya in itself depicts serenity, purity, beauty and gorgeousness, but that isn’t the case of the streets of the town anymore. And therefore garbage in the hills is a serious concern because of the following reasons.
The Aftermath we are Facing due to Excessive Garbage in Dehradun
1. Garbage in Hilly Regions pollutes other Ecosystems
When waste is dumped on hill tops it might merge with rivers and other streams which find its way downstream and therefore pollutes freshwater and disturbs the balance in the ecosystem, which in turn leads to choked streams and polluted rivers.
2. Heaps of Garbage Everywhere
Looking at a sight where you will find an open space converted into a trash can is not a pretty view to look at. Heaps of garbage in and around the open spaces in town causes unwanted filth which produces greenhouses gases and in turn pollutes the surroundings.
3. Rivers of Doon turn Dump Yard
No one is alien to the plight of the rivers Bindal and Rispana, calling it a river? think twice before that. The riverbed of these water bodies now have various types of wastes. The river bed of Bindal is dotted with domestic waste, effluents, plastics, animal carcasses and human excreta. Besides, encroachment has led to serious environmental hazards. The people living in the slums are also being affected by this according to the reports of media.
4.Overflowing & Inappropriately manged Sewage in Dehradun
When waste dumped directly on roads and streets, it disrupts the proper functioning of public sewage and drains on the roads, which tend to overflow when it rains. This in turn leads to unwanted litter on the roads making the air more polluted. The inappropriately managed sewage system clogs the drains and creates stagnant water which is the breeding ground of diseases like Legionnaires’ which is a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling contaminated water.
5. Escalation in the degree of Air Pollution due Smoke Emission from Burning of Garbage
Openly burning the garbage is a practise which is followed not just by the residents of Doon but also the Government officials responsible for handling waste. Each time the waste is burnt is produces pollutants like carbon dioxide, mercury and acid which mix up with air and causes harmful effects on the environment along with the risk of causing many respiratory disorders.
6. Government Fails in Banning Plastic from Doon
The implementation of the Laws that were suppose to ban the use of plastic from the valley in 2012 has gone down the drain, as we all can see it. Use of polythene is still a regular practise while doing grocery shopping, plastic is non-biodegradable and therefore it chokes the drains, thereby posing serious hazard to the environment.
Why are We Facing the Aftermath of Excessive Garbage in Dehradun
1. The Residents of Dehradun don’t give two shits About ‘Clean Doon Green Doon’
The natives of the town are not so aware and concerned about the hazardous changes that are taking place due to using plastics, burning garbage outside their house and throwing garbage in open spaces and plots. The Lack of Awareness and the non bothering attitude towards environment has doomed the town.
2. Improper Waste Management by MDDA
The garbage cabs of the Waste Management Department of the town is not up to the mark, garbage collecting cabs are not frequent, burning of waste by the municipality and lack of action are some of the main causes of heaps of waste around the town.
3. Lack of Dustbins in The City
When wandering around Doon you will not find many dustbins which are required to keep the roads clean. With less dustbins the citizens are bound to throw garbage on streets and on roads creating litter in Dehradun.
4. Inequality & Discrimination while Providing Service by Govt Officials
Walking around a nice and Posh area like Vasant Vihar and ONGC Colony, you will find utmost neatness, but what about areas near Premnagar and Kanwali Road, they are a mess in many localities. The services are biased and have a limited availability for some folks and not all the citizens.
5. ill-suited Waste Management on the Outskirts of Dehradun
Areas outside the city have been facing the ill effects of excessive pollutants that are generated from the inappropriate management of waste outside the town. Disposal sights are selected without fulfilling the site selection criteria.
6. No Waste Recycling done by The Government
Unsegregated Waste is disposed in an area without any processing, Bio-degradable waste are not processed separately, this has hazardous effects. If recycled and segregated properly this will lead to a better climate in the town.
Solutions to turn Doon ‘Clean & Green’
1. Go Anti-Polythene
Minimise the use of Polythene in every way that you can, carry your own handbag, cloth bag or a paper bag while buying grocery or any other product that involves carrying a polythene.
2. Charity Begins at Home and so does Change
Just like the above phrase, to see the change, be the change yourself. Start an initiative at your home itself. Segregate the waste in your Dustbin, make sure to dump your waste where it should be dumped and don’t just throw it away in the open or burn it outside your house.
3. Small Steps Go a Long Way
Start taking small steps by educating yourself and then the people around you on the issues of excessive Waste. Set Up some bins in your area with the help of some local residents to keep your locality clean. Take an initiative and care enough to talk about the problem with the Mohalla Swachata Samiti of your area or contact the Local Councillor of your area and see what can you do to resolve the problem upto some extent.
4. Take help of Social Media
In this hard and fast technology world everyone is internet savvy, use the services of the world wide web to clean your area if the municipality is not giving a shit about it. Register your complaint at http://www.samadhan.uk.gov.in/complaint_registration_new.aspx if you want any action to be taken in any particular area regarding the overflowing garbage in that area.
5. Nagar Nigam needs your Help
An application called Swachh Dehradun is launched by the Dehradun Nagar Nigam. Please Download it. To report a complaint, just capture and upload images with location details of garbage dump if you find any in your locality to make this city clean and green. Download link: https://goo.gl/55J2de.
6. Segregate Waste in your Homes
You can learn waste segregation very easily by having separate dumping bags for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. Organic wastes like vegetable and fruit peels can be given to the local dairy owners who sell good quality and unadulterated milk, this can be used as fodder for cows and buffaloes while reducing the waste production from each house.
7. Educate, Teach and Lead
Educate the people around you about the importance of having clean waterbodies. Stop people from polluting the local rivers and teach them the ways through which they can make a difference by being smart while maintaining the litter created by them.
Looking at the unprecedented climate change and the increasing pollution in the Doon Valley it is high time that we take an action towards preserving our small town as stripping it off of its natural essence will disrupt the balance of the ecosystem of the town.