9 February 2022
Over 70 eminent citizens of Chandigarh including environmentalists, educationalist, retired bureaucrats have written to Smt Anindita Mitra, Municipal Commissioner Chandigarh, as they are extremely disappointed with the inaction by the Municipal Corporation to clean up the Dadu Majra dumpsite.
Among the concerned citizens, is KC Singh, retired from the Indian Foreign Services and a former Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, said “I learn that Dadu Majra dumpsite is causing a serious environmental and health hazard for people living around it and in the city. Reports indicate that the city’s Swachh Bharat index has dropped. As a house owner since 1963, it is distressing to see City Beautiful turn into an environmental mess. It is hoped that the administration and the corporation will take immediate steps to address it.”
Last year prior to the MC elections citizens including residents of Dadu Majra, Warrior Moms, a collective of mothers demanding accountability on air pollution and the climate crisis, organized a peaceful demonstration outside the dumpsite, demanding for clean-up of Dadu Majra which is a health hazard to the communities living there and a source of toxic air pollution.
The letter stated that the Municipality should stop with its useless experiment of passing the buck to private contractors as this has failed in the past when the company JayPee was brought in to set up a Refuse Derive Fuel (RDF) plant. “Chandigarh is a city where citizens are segregating waste but our Municipal Corporation ends up dumping all the waste together” said Samita, a member of the Warrior Moms network in Chandigarh. She further stated that the MCC should stop shifting responsibility, implement holistic solutions on waste management as there are several examples from across the country.
Further criticizing the MC’s inaction, Dr Ranjit Powar, who retired as Deputy Director from the Dept of Food and Consumer Affairs, Government of Punjab in 2015, said “The waste dump at Dadu Majra is a visible statement of the Government’s disregard for the health of Chandigarh’s residents. It unabashedly condemns them to disease and death, saving the tax money for free and best health facilities for those who hold the responsibility of serving people.”
Amit Sharma, a Chandigarh resident had filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking action from the MC on the dumpsite stated that “Studies prove beyond doubt that Dadu Majra’s dump is impacting the air, soil and the water of the area. Despite being aware of this horrible reality for 12 years, the Municipality has been willfully splurging tax payer’s money with no impact and zero accountability. “
Given that all political parties prior to the municipal elections had promised to clean up Dadu Majra, the citizens of Chandigarh demand fulfilling those promises and accountability from the Chandigarh administration.