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Another fire outbreak at Bhagtanwala dump in Amritsar

Smoke troubles residents, no solution in sight yet

Another fire outbreak at Bhagtanwala dump in Amritsar

Smoke billows from the Bhagtanwala dump in Amritsar on Friday. Sunil Kumar



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, June 14

Despite preventive measures, another fire outbreak was reported at the Bhagtanwala garbage dump last evening. The smoke billowing from the fire caused inconvenience to the residents living in its vicinity for the next several hours. In another instance, a fire incident was also reported from the dumping ground opposite Verka milk plant today in the afternoon.

MC officials claimed that methane gas emanating from the garbage dump causes fire. When methane comes in contact with heat, it flares up. The Bhagtanwala dump has seen fire incidents with some regularity. The MC had segregated the heaps of garbage so that fire did not spread from one heap to another. However, no other efforts have been made to curb the instances of fire.

The smoke from the fire also results in diseases spreading in the nearby settlements. Sandeep Sharma, a residents of Bhagtanwala, said, “Dump fire was a major issue before the elections and every political leader was talking of addressing it. After the elections, everyone seems to have forgotten about the issue. But we, the residents of Bhagtanwala, are still facing the problem of toxic smoke and suffering from respiratory ailments.”

Last night, a fire brigade team of the MC, deployed at the dumping site, made great efforts to control the flames.

There are around 19 lakh metric tonnes of garbage at the Bhagtanwala dump at present. The solid waste management company had stopped bio-remediation at the dump last year. Recently, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had met the Municipal Commissioner and assured that bio-remediation will be started. He had also assured that the number of door-to-door garbage collection vehicles will be increased and compactors will be purchased. But nothing has materialised till date.

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