Think of an eco-friendly park on a pile of garbage giving breather to people living in and around the area.
This imagination will soon turn into reality at Ranchi’s Jhiri, one of the biggest dump yard in Jharkhand, spread across 41 acres of land where more than 600 tonnes of garbage is dumped every day since past two decades.
The board of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has approved the proposal of an eco-park on a portion of the dump yard with an aim to reduce environmental hazard to people living nearby, clear dumping land and improve soil quality which has deteriorated drastically. RMC executive engineer Umeshwar Nath Tiwary said a detailed project report (DPR) in this regard was being prepared by a private agency. “The concept is to accumulate garbage spread across 41 acres of land in three to four acres through capping work and develop a park on it,” he said, adding, “Grass would be sown, varieties of flowers and trees suitable for such land would be planted there.”
Tiwary said the project would help improve the environment of the locality by reducing garbage pollution, prevent water and soil pollution, besides, it would help to reclaim large portion of the dumping site for scientific solid waste management.
It was a brainchild of Ranchi deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya who said that he saw such eco-park in Chennai. “It gave me an idea to develop a similar park in Ranchi’s Jhiri under green project initiative. It will give a breather to people living nearby,” Vijayvargiya said.
A stinking kitchen dustbin can unsettle one’s day. Imagine living in Anand Nagar, a colony of 200 families near Jhiri, that has to cope with over 20 lakh tonnes of garbage accumulated in past two decades.
Most residents of the colony are forced to live inside mosquito nets even in day time. “Flies make our lives miserable during the day while mosquitoes at night. We cannot eat in the open because of the flies,” said Lalti Devi (35).
“Since there is no waste recycling process here, flies and mosquitoes menace have increased seriously,” she said. A large number of residents are now planning to shift to other places after selling their properties.
A recent study conducted by the environment experts of Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra, found unscientific garbage dumping turning the soils in and around Jhiri poisonous spreading cancerous agents. The environment experts have found concentration of heavy metals like Chromium, Copper and Zinc in the soil.
Kirti Avishek, assistant professor at department of civil and environmental engineering at BIT, said, “Any vegetable or plant uptake the nutrition from the top soil. It means vegetable or any plant will absorb the heavy metals. When we eat such vegetables, it will enter our body, which could lead to several health hazards including cancer.”
RMC had hired two agencies — A2Z in 2011 and Essel Infra in 2015 — to collect and dispose city’s garbage and set up a waste processing plant at Jhiri for making fertilizers, eco-bricks and electricity out of the dumped garbage. However, RMC terminated both the companies for allegedly falling on their given tasks.