Service Road Between Wakad & Warje A Garbage Dumping Spot | Pune News

Service Road Between Wakad & Warje A Garbage Dumping Spot | Pune News

PUNE: A drive through NH-48, or Mumbai-Bengaluru highway, is an eyesore for all with garbage — be it torn pillows, construction debris, discarded bathroom fixtures, stale food or abandoned two-wheelers — being dumped along it.
Thousands using the highway expect the civic body to tighten security and find ways to monitor and catch those dumping waste along the highway.
Bavdhan resident Mangesh Narkhedkar said it was mostly the commuters who dumped the waste on the highway while passing by. “People throw every possible thing and drive away, and the garbage keeps piling up. There are hawkers opposite Zinnea society, near Chandni Chowk, on the highway, who are daily offenders. The stench is not the only problem. The garbage also attracts cattle and stray animals to the trash heaps. It’s not only an environmental hazard, there can be accidents,” he said.
The stretch from the Hinjewadi-Wakad flyover junction to just before Atulnagar Phase 1 is an eyesore for those driving through. “I have noticed the garbage, but have not spot ted people throwing the trash. What amuses me is that no one seems to want to do anything about the garbage. Is it such a big issue that one can’t handle it?” said Balewadi resident KA Rashmi Bhatia.
“The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) or the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, (PCMC) depending on their jurisdiction, should first get all the garbage cleared. The civic bodies then can depute some of their officers to monitor the areas and catch people dumping garbage on the highway. The civic bodies must also place dustbins at intervals and get them cleaned too. I feel people throw more garbage at spots where trash heaps,” Bhatia added.
“Driving on the highway is horrible because of the traffic and depressing because of the mounds of garbage. It’s high time the authorities woke up. The next time a VIP visits Pune to inaugurate something, they should have a stop along the highway. Everything will then get cleared on its own,” said a senior citizen from Bavdhan.
The scene is similar elsewhere too. Satara Road, Katraj Ghat Road and Nagar Road are no exceptions. “These are like multiple dumping sites,” said Anushka Kajbaje, a Wanowrie resident and a faculty of environmental science. “Plastic waste is a major issue on the highways, especially between Kharadi and Wagholi. Bus stops have no dustbins. People waiting at the stops can often be spotted littering the spots. There is no mechanism to keep an eye on such people,” Kajbaje said.
“Food items sold near toll plazas are given single-use plastic bags, which are often thrown by commuters on the roadside. Even if containers are provided at some places, their capacity is either less or the trash collection frequency is low. The heaps of trash continue to become bigger in size,” she added.
Most people believe that proper monitoring is a must at the chronic garbage spots. “The litter lining our highways contributes to environmental degradation. The authorities must prioritise regular garbage collection and strictly enforce laws to prevent roadside dumping. Frequent public education campaigns to raise awareness about the impacts of roadside garbage should be organised. They must also promote responsible waste disposal practices across the city,” Ashutosh Sathe, a resident of Bavdhan and a business consultant, said.
Sandip Kadam, head of the PMC’s solid waste management department, said, “It is mostly the hawkers who throw waste on these stretches while they head back from locations close to the highway. Besides, there are construction companies who illegally build structures in the area and then dump the debris along the highways. We collect trash from the highways within the city limits daily. On the outskirts such as the stretch from Navale bridge towards the ghat, we conduct regular drives to clear it up.”
Kadam said his department had slapped fines on a few people who had been caught dumping. “We levy a Rs500 fine for garbage dumping and Rs5,000 for construction debris dumping. We regularly patrol at night throughout the area. The activity has increased now since we have received more monitoring vans,” he added.
Pimpri Chinchwad Assisstant Commissioner, Health, Yashwant Dange told TOI, that regular monitoring was being done of the service road stretches that fall within PCMC’s jurisdiction as well.

Visual pollution
Visual pollution

“We fine Rs500 for those littering in small amounts and Rs50,000 for those who dump in huge quantities, for example in trucks and vans. While we don’t have the exact numbers of how many have been fined along the service road, since April 2023, till date 51 people were fined throughout Pimpri Chinchwad for littering. The responsibility to penalise violators falls on the respective ward offices.”

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