Turning Jhuriwala Forest Area Into Garbage Dump Threatens Wildlife and Ecosystem
Without any environmental clearance, Panchkula MC has turned 12 acres of Jhuriwala Forest Area into a dumping ground
Recently, a four-member sub-committee of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) of the Government of India inspected the Jhuriwala forest area in Haryana that’s been turned into a garbage dumping site. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change sent the panel to verify the objections raised by residents against the Jhuriwala dumping site.
After inspecting the area, the environmental ministry panel lashed out at the Panchkula Municipal Corporation (MC) for causing serious environmental violations. The Panchkula MC does not have an environmental clearance to use around 12 acres of forest land for dumping. And, the one clearance that they had already expired in 2020, after which they are illegally dumping the garbage. It is now posing a severe threat to the ecosystem and wildlife.
Jhuriwala forest area that’s now a garbage dumping ground is only 500 metres away from Sector 23. Due to the garbage dump, residents are alleging that foul smells constantly come to their houses, especially in the monsoon area.
Since the Jhuriwala dumping ground has hills around it, the rainwater coming from the hilly areas flows into the nearby Ghaggar River. Rainwater also carries dangerous chemicals and non-biodegradable materials, which impact the physical environment and the waterways with contamination of water and soil.
Besides that, the dumping ground is also home to rodents, mosquitoes, and insects that carry diseases with them. Hence, it’s not healthy for the residents to live in such an area. Concerned about their health, many people near Jhuriwala Forest land are planning to sell their properties and few have already left the area.Besides the ecosystem and human health, the dumping ground is also posing a severe threat to wildlife. This garbage dumping site has both toxicological and physical implications for animals. When wild animals ingest plastics from the garbage dump, they are putting themselves at risk of lethal injuries and health conditions. For instance, the plastics and other harmful chemicals in the dump can damage the digestive tract or can lead to ulceration of the stomach, starvation, growth issues, decreased fitness, and premature death.
After inspecting the forest dumping site, the environmental ministry panel was quite disappointed. The team had to return mid-way, as there was no proper pathway to the landfill site. The officials also interacted with the nearby residential sectors and people complained about the huge piles of garbage in the region. They also mentioned that it’s a real struggle for them to live in such an unhygienic environment.
Later, the team also visited the Ghaggar River to review its condition. They directed the MC commissioner to remove the dump within this year as it is right next to the river. We cannot affirm how it long would take to clear such a massive land of garbage. But it’s vital to clear the waste and reserve the area only for nature parks or forest land. This way the residents will also get access to nature and a healthy environment around them.
Via: Hindustan Times