ITANAGAR- The Youth Mission for Clean River (YMCR) has called the garbage dumping in Kameng River, at Seppa a deliberate act of polluting the river and sought the Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board’s intervention.
The river-justice NGO which met the Member Secretary, APSCB, Tapiek Riba today submitted a complaint in this matter.
In its letter, the YMCR said the indiscriminate dumping of garbage into Kameng River in Seppa, near Nicham Sonam bridge is being done by the District Urban Development Agency (DUDA).
Despite environmental regulations that protect the quality of streams, rivers and wetlands, solid waste in the form of trash, litter, and garbage collected by DUDA as a result of PM Modi’s visionary Swachh Bharat Mission program are recklessly dumped into Kameng River, on a daily basis for the last many years. The repeated dumping of medical and domestic wastes in this river – a major river of the district — continues unabated and unchecked, YMCR said.
Urging the Pollution Control Board to take punitive action against the district authorities concerned, the YMCR said “Looking at the severity of the environmental pollution and violations of various laws under the environment act, such as Untreated Sewage Discharge, Violations of provisions of the Bio Medical Waste Rules, 2016, violations under Solid Waste Rules and others, the undersigned further requests the APSPCB to assess the damage caused to environment in all these years and recover the compensation by invoking Environmental Compensation Charge as laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).”
Instead of disposing of garbage and other waste material at a designated dumping ground, the DUDA authorities and workers are directly throwing garbage into Kameng river near nicham sonam bridge on a regular basis. By doing so, they are not only polluting the Mendhar river which ultimately will lead to the death of aquatic animals but are also causing great inconvenience to the people who pass through the area as foul smell emanates from the water body.
The workers engaged by the DUDA authorities after collecting garbage from various parts of the town, directly dump the same into the river. This practice has been going on for the last many years. Neither the town Magistrate nor the Deputy Commissioner took notice of the issue, till date, it further said.
The YMCR said it had brought this matter before the then Deputy Commissioner of East Kameng, Gaurav Singh Rajawat in April 2019, who took cognizance of the matter and immediately imposed a ban on dumping into Kameng river.
“Whereas it has been reported to me that DUDA is dumping solid waste/garbage of the Town area in the Kameng river, and whereas you have been instructed a number of times in writing as well as orally to stop dumping in the river, and whereas garbage dumping in the river results in several environmental and ecological challenges, I, Deputy Commissioner of East Kameng district under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure hereby direct you to not dump garbage in the river with immediate effect,” DC Gaurav Singh Rajawat wrote in the order dated April 18, 2019.
“Failing to comply with the above directions shall invite necessary legal proceedings under the Indian Penal Code and CrPC. FIR will be lodged without any further notice if the order is not complied with,” the order further noted.
“This was a temporary relief for the river, as the DUDA has yet again started treating Kameng river as their dumping ground. While there are NGOs and like-minded people waging war to save rivers, it is ironic to see a government agency, running out of taxpayers’ money, which is meant to keep the town and environment hygienic and clean doing just the exact opposite,” YMCR said