Residents allege that the GHMC had been using Rock Garden as a dumpyard for over a year.

Victory for Hyd residents Officials clean dumpyard ahead of court-directed inspection
news Civic Issues Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 15:40

Work has been going on in full swing at Hyderabad’s Rock Garden, which is situated in the city’s Nallagadla area. Several workers of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have been working day and night for the last two days.

The citizens and GHMC are presently embroiled in a conflict as the Rock Garden was a designated park under the then municipal body Hyderabad Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) layout, which was released in 2010.

However, residents alleged that the GHMC had been using it as a dumpyard for more than a year now, and the stench affects thousands of citizens.  

Irked, the citizens who formed a group called 'Aware Nallgandla', and moved the High Court on October 30. 

After admitting the petition, the court issued notices on November 2, asking the GHMC to respond to the allegations of the citizens. 

After two adjournments, the case came up for hearing on November 20, where the GHMC's counsel refuted claims that it was the Rock Garden was a 'dumpyard'.

(Images taken on November 21, show that dumping was still underway)

When the petitioner's counsel pointed out that the Pollution Control Board (PCB) had also issued a notice to the West Zone of the GHMC for 'unscientific dumping', the latter's counsel said that it was a temporary segregation site.

According to the petitioner, the GHMC had also said in court that Rs 9 lakh was sanctioned to construct a park in the area.

Questioning how the GHMC could segregate garbage without dumping it, the High Court ordered an Advocate Commissioner to visit the site and submit a report on the issue in three weeks.

On Wednesday, citizens also filed a police complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Madhapur Zone regarding the issue.

The cover-up 

Following the court's order on November 20, the citizens claim that the GHMC has been working day and night. 

"The Advocate Commissioner is going to visit the site on Saturday, as the HC bench did not believe the GHMC's claims. However, over the past two days, work has been going on in full swing at Rock Garden," Hirdesh Gupta from Aware Nallagandla told TNM.

"There was tons and tons of garbage, and the GHMC started cleaning it right away as they want to prove in court that it's a beautiful park. They are sincerely working day and night and there are more than 100 workers at the spot, who say they got instructions from higher officials to clean everything up," Hirdesh adds.

The citizens, armed with photographic evidence, say that the GHMC employed several bulldozers and other machinery to completely clean up the park, with most of the garbage now gone. 

"The garbage has been temporarily shifted to another dumpyard in Deepthi Srinagar colony, and construction of a ramp has also begun at the east side entrance of the park," Hirdesh says.  

"The work that would take the GHMC three years is being done in three days," he quips. 

Residents also say that the GHMC has barred them from entering the park citing 'construction work' so that they can clear the garbage by Saturday.  

Background

In 2010, the land was auctioned by the HUDA, which is now known as the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA).

The HUDA layout released during the auction showed that there were designated spaces for parks, including Rock Garden, which is around 12 acres in size. 

The area around Rock Garden is densely populated. as it has several housing communities surrounding it, besides several schools. 

In September, despite strong protests from locals, the municipal body made the area a permanent garbage transfer station.

(Photos taken a few months ago at Rock Garden)

The GHMC stated that the area would be cleaned up and a small part of the land would be used to dump wet waste into a compost pit and segregate dry waste, along with a dry resource collection centre. There were also plans to build a large wall to contain the stench. 

Following this, citizens started an online petition on Change.org called 'Save Nallagandla Park'.

"In the last two years, the situation has worsened with pollution and stench caused by huge loads of waste which is dumped on the site on a daily basis…This waste storage site is illegal and is a violation of basic principles of municipal health administration," the petition argued.

The petition, ‘Save Nallagandla Park from GHMC's illegal dumpyard’, can be found here.

 

 

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