Even after repeated complaints were made on the unkempt dumping site, CIDCO failed to assist. However, the Kharghar Citizen Forum took matters into their own hands and cleaned up the dumping site. Not only that but they also potted plants. The Members of the forum are now taking turns to watch over the site and keep off litterbugs.
Arjun Garad, a member of the forum and resident of Rajgad Cooperative Housing Society, said, “As per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the government has sent a notification that common dustbins should be removed and waste should be collected from each residence. However, in many locations in Kharghar common dustbins are still present and spread filth, dirt and foul smell. This dumping site was in a prominent place behind Pranam Hotel in Sector 12. So we decided to clean up the place by ourselves instead of fighting with CIDCO.”
The members of the forum also visited nearby housing societies, restaurants and chawls and told them not to dump garbage at the site. Garad said, “Whenever the garbage pick-up van did not show up on time, residents used to dispose of household wastes at this dumping site. Hawkers and restaurant owners also added to the heap of garbage by dumping waste at the site late at night. Foul smell used to emanate from the site due to the accumulation of wet garbage. Before cleaning up the area, we put up a banner for five days appealing to residents not to dump waste at the site.”
CIDCO officials volunteered to help the residents clear the garbage that was piled up at the site and removed the dustbins on Sunday morning. The residents hired a water tanker and washed the area clean.
A resident of Balaji Corner CHS, Kharghar said, “The clean-up operation involved the hard work of 70 members of the forum. The entire process of cleaning and bleaching the dumping site took around three hours. During the night, residents guarded the area to prevent hawkers and restaurants owners from disposing of garbage in the cover of darkness. It will be guarding the area for another week.”
He even added that the corporator of the area helped coordinate the efforts with CIDCO. The residents of the housing society also requested CIDCO to collect garbage from all housing societies in the area on a daily basis so that garbage doesn’t end getting dumped on the site.