Kharghar is burning

I wrote the following poem many years ago, when I had 2 years of laryngitis due to the burning of garbage on the roads outside our earlier residence. It was common, so an ENT specialist had her clinic details posted on the society notice board!

Diwali, a festival of new beginnings, is the time I don’t walk down the streets.¬†Firecrackers used to start well in advance of the festival, but this year seems better, and I’m grateful for it.

Still, roads don’t usually get cleaned immediately after Diwali here in Kharghar, and the remains of firecrackers and the strong smell is a health hazard for many. This year seems a little different and people are starting to realise that we need to change and find new, non-polluting ways to enjoy the festival. I hope this trend continues.


 

Kharghar is burning and nobody cares.

There’s often a strong smell of smoke in the air.

Garbage collection is not a routine,

And waste segregation still is a pipe dream.

Kharghar stinks and nobody cares,

The stench of chemicals sometimes fills the night air.

The cool of the season brings a mist early morning,

That keeps it all down until we’re all coughing.

The plastic ban is just a piece of paper,

And many vendors flout it.

Because customers fight and would rather not buy

From the shops that try to promote it.

Kharghar’s polluted and just a few care,

Enough to change, make a difference.

To find new ways of celebration,

And new traditions that don’t cause pollution.

Kharghar is polluted and a few do care,

Could others join in and be more aware?

 


Kharghar always has something that’s burning

Mildly cool weather brings a lovely mist that can block the view upto 9am and some days, till much later. It’s not so lovely anymore though, as it keeps the pollution down.

We have burning for different reasons :

  1. The brick kilns : This was stopped by the authorities sometime back, but a few restarted at different locations and were shut down again. As far as I know, there is no more burning from this source right now.
  2. Slash and burn agriculture and clearing vegetation on the hills : This still continues and it’s pretty bad for the sectors nearby.
  3. Burning of garbage on the roads due to erratic collection : Still continues.
    • We don’t always have regular garbage collection here, and some sectors have pretty erratic collection.
    • There’s no segregation, collection and recycling of waste. Except for cardboard, paper, metals, waste and selected plastic items that the local ‘raddiwallas’ collect from homes that segregate their waste. Plans are yet to materialise.
    • Plastic bags, thermacol and glass just get dumped with wet waste. It appears, from the way people fight with shopkeepers to keep plastic bags, there’s very little will to use reusable cloth bags and reduce waste. A shame really, and an indication that we need regular programmes to educate people on the health hazards we face as a result of excess waste.

The stench of chemicals is another big cause of pollution here, and it’s quite strong some nights.


This post reflects my opinions only.

Please comment if I’ve missed anything – progress (actual progress and not just plans that have not materialised), as well as conditions that are worse than I think. I’d like people to be thinking about pollution and the part we all play in keeping our environment clean.

Kharghar unpolluted is a lovely place and we need to work at keeping it that way.

 


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