GUWAHATI, July 22 - Expressing concern over the continued existence of the landfill site at Boragaon in the city, AGP MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita today said that pollutants and waste materials from the site have become a menace for the ecologically-sensitive Deepor Beel.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour at the Legislative Assembly, Kalita said that all the wastes from across the city are dumped at the Boragaon site and this has led to spillage into the Deepor Beel and pollution of the water-body.
�Migratory birds and other species of wildlife are suffering due to this. Besides, the smell from the landfill site has made life miserable for people in the area,� he said.
Kalita added that although 20 bighas of land at Bonda was provided by the Kamrup Metro district administration in 2015 as an alternative site for dumping, the place at Boragaon is still being used to discard garbage and wastes.
�We have to preserve the ecological balance of Deepor Beel and for that urgent action is needed to shift the dumping ground from Boragaon,� he said.
In his reply, Minister for Guwahati Development Department Himanta Biswa Sarma said that 400 tonnes of solid waste is generated everyday in Guwahati and due to space constraints within the main city area, the 120 bighas of land at Boragaon was taken some years back for use in land filling and conversion of waste to fertilizer.
There is a composite compost conversion plant at the site where 50 tonnes of garbage is converted to 10 tonnes of fertilizer.
However, sometime back the National Green Tribunal ordered the removal of the dumping ground from the site.
�We got 20 bighas of land in Bonda, which is much less than the existing 120 bighas at Boragaon. However, locals at Bonda opposed the idea of a dumping ground in their locality and so we could not take over the land. So you can well imagine our plight, stuck as we are between the NGT order and opposition of locals of Bonda,� Sarma said.
He added that a committee consisting of experts from IIT Guwahati has suggested certain remedial measures for the site at Boragaon, including tree plantation but the NGT�s order had made it imperative to shift the location.
�Nobody wants a waste dumping ground in their area. It is not like setting up of a new engineering college or an AIIMS, when everybody wants it in their localities,� he said.
The minister added that in certain cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai, the civic authorities have constructed landfills below parks and suggested that the local MLAs from Guwahati visit such places and provide suggestions to the State government here.
�The GMC Commissioner, along with the local MLAs from the city-based constituencies, should go to such places, study the concept and offer suggestions. NGT order states that we have to vacate the place at Boragaon at the earliest. Therefore, it is imperative that we find a solution to the issue soon,� Sarma said.
He said that one solution could be to have four dumping grounds in the city, one catering to each of the four Legislative Assembly Constituencies of Guwahati.