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Burning garbage raises pollution levels in Hyderabad

The Times of India , Monday, November 11, 2013
HYDERABAD: There has been no let-up in the burning of garbage across the city despite several concerns raised by activists about its adverse effects on the environment and the health of people.
Civic officials in the past had promised action against the municipal workers burning solid waste. However, mounds of garbage continue to be burnt in the city to avoid transporting the waste for safe disposal.
"When garbage is burnt, several trees adjacent to it catch fire. As a result, trees easily get uprooted during rains or heavy wind owing to their damaged trunks. There were several instances of trees falling on passersby during rains. A young couple succumbed to injuries recently," said Prabhakar Korada, a resident of Kompally. "I do not understand why authorities are not taking any action. A very old tree in Kompally got burnt and fell a couple of days ago. It is very sad to see this green murder," he added.
Fumes emitted by the burnt garbage can release cancer-causing carcinogens, according to experts. "There are four to five huge garbage dumps near the metro mall in Kukatpally. The unattended garbage is often burnt," said Jayaprakash Nambaru of I Go Green Foundation. "We have complained to the authorities several times but in vain. It poses great a risk to the health of people living in the surroundings," he added.
Activists said that awareness programmes regarding disposal of garbage leave a lot to be desired. "We once saw a ragpicker burning a small heap of garbage. When we were trying to dissuade him, we realized that he was under the impression that garbage had to be burnt," said city-based social activist Uma Kumari. "Authorities should conduct awareness programmes for all workers, ragpickers and citizens on this issue. It is high time they are better informed about the most basic aspect of sanitation in the city," she added.