Civic participation is a term that most metropolitan cities are familiar with. This term can be described as an individual or group activity that address issues of public concern. It can include the participation of political and non-political parties or individuals that want to make a valuable difference in the society.
In recent years, Hyderabad as a city has seen a major growth phase. There have been many developments. However, there are still major issues that have to be addressed. One such issue is the dump yard in Jawahar Nagar. Its condition can be described as cataclysmic- at the very least.
Spread out across 130 acres of land, it is considered to be one of the biggest junkyards in Asia. It receives around 15 million tonnes of municipal waste on a regular basis.
Ramky Enviro Engineers, a provider of environmental services in India had taken up the project of clearing out this literal ‘mess’ in 2012. A channel was built as a diversion for allowing water that may have seeped in because of rain to evade overflowing into the Malkaram Lake which is situated close by. However, many problems still persist.
Due to the accumulation of all kinds of waste in the same area, harmful waste has been produced through the passing of time. This waste is in all three forms- solid, liquid and gas. Since the establishment of this junkyard, almost 8 million litres of detrimental waste has been generated out of which, only 2.5 lakh litres has been treated. It is quite evident that waste management for this area has not been done efficiently.
According to sources, the water has turned black and cannot sustain any plant or animal life. People living close to these water bodies are severely affected.
The most affected areas are all under the Medchal district including Jawahar Nagar, Balaji Nagar, Medipally, Chengicharla, Boduppal, Peerzadiguda and Ahmedaguda amongst a few. The citizens living in these areas are mostly lower-middle class and may or may not have the resources to speak for themselves on these alarming issues.
Those living in these red zones claim not to receive clean water. The air is also polluted and the produce they receive is also contaminated. If these issues cannot be addressed by the ruling party, then who should those innocent civilians turn to?
The reclamation of the dump site had been taken up as a project since December 2016. The capping of this dump yard is a project that was undertaken. The estimated budget for this was 1000 crores. However, just a mere 146 crores have been spent till now. Claims have been made to assure a solution to this problem by January 2019. Although, this doesn’t seem as convincing at the moment and only time will tell whether an action will be taken.
Kompally Mohan Reddy, a contestant for BJP had addressed this issue. The party took matters into their own hands and went directly to the Supreme Court to find an able solution. The Supreme court made a decision in cooperation with the National Green Tribunal and issued a Stay Order on this area.
Kompally Mohan Reddy has also taken the initiative and confronted many issues surrounding the area. Apart from the severe conditions faced by the civilians living in the area, the treatment capacity is very limited per day. According to sources, the waste treatment plant can only manage 2-kilo litres per day. No wonder the area is so contaminated!!
Although BJP was not the ruling party in the area during the time, they took the initiative and made an effort to address the issue at hand. It makes us wonder what the ruling party in the area was doing at the same time!
A responsible political party must issue the concerns of the civilians and make sure they are living a comfortable life. This is definitely an issue that everyone must keep in mind while voting for the elections that are coming up soon this year.