Morung Express News
Dimapur | August 9
The residents of Sunrise Colony have decided to resume the blockade of Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) vehicles carrying garbage to the dumping site in the Colony from August 11.
The decision comes following failure of Nagaland State’s Municipal Affairs Department (MAD) to shift the dumping site to a new location despite repeated assurance.
The residents had demanded the shifting of the present DMC dumping site citing health issues. Instead, the concerned department has not only withdrawn its assurances but also signed a MoU with a private company for solid waste management at the said dumping ground.
“At the expense of health, this arrangement is not acceptable,” a press release from the Sunrise Colony (UNB) Chairman and Secretary stated. The DMC dumping site has become a breeding ground for contamination, raising toxic health hazards for the residents of the neighbouring area.
Govt taking the public for a ride?
A perusal of correspondence between the Colony and MAD over the issue indicated that the latter, while buying time, has gone back on its promises earning the ire of residents.
Documents in possession of The Morung Express showed that as early as May 30, 2015, after repeated appeals, the Joint Council Forum (JCF) representing four colonies located in the vicinity of the dumping site– United North Block (UNB) – A, UNB- B, Naga Colony and Sunrise Colony – served a “final ultimatum” to then DMC Chief Executive Officer for “immediate shifting of garbage dumping site” from July 1, 2015. After negotiation, the deadline was fixed at December 31, 2015.
However, on January 4, 2016, a letter from Officer on Special Duty of MAD to JCF informed that the Department has earmarked a new dumping site at Khuisiabill area and requested to consider till January 2016. In February 2, 2016, MAD Secretary, Dr. Maongwati Aier, reassured the shifting of the dumping site and promised that the Government will “not ask for further extension of time” on the matter.
As the matter went unresolved, the deadline for shifting of the dumping site was repeatedly extended after the Government’s MAD made several excuses till June this year.
On June 7, 2017 the Commissioner & Secretary, Government of Nagaland, M Patton IAS informed of the government’s inability to shift the dumping site and withdrew earlier assurances made.
The Government further bowled a googly stating that it has signed a MoU with Newwaves Bio Fuels India Private Limited to execute “solid waste management” in the area.
In a letter written on July 25, the State Government further changed tune. It said that the site has been in use for more than 20 years and warned that disruption of the dumping site may “cause law and order problems.”
Additionally, the letter stated that the Naga Council Dimapur has agreed to implement the MoU signed by the Government.
This, amidst rising differences of “opinion and interest” among the JCF that led Sunrise Colony to disassociate from the forum.
Sunrise Colony has decided to go ahead with the lawful agitation and said it will take a legal route for redressal if their right to “live in a clean and healthy environment” is ignored.
Meanwhile, after a joint meeting on July 23, seven villages submitted a representation to Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur, to shift the dumping to an alternate site.
The Naga Council Dimapur has convened an emergency meeting on August 12 to discuss the issue.