Responding to frequent complaints from citizens regarding unauthorised dumping of waste in sewers by dairy farms, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) plans to scale up action against violators. Residents living in areas where dairy farms are concentrated say that repeated blockages due to dumping of waste, particularly cow and buffalo dung, in open drains is causing spillover of sewage onto roads.
Confirming that they frequently receive such complaints from Zone 1 and Zone 2, the older parts of Gurugram city, MCG officials said that such violations lead to an added burden for the sanitation department, which has to deploy additional labour and resources in the problem areas.
Over the past week, blockages due to waste from dairy farms have been reported in Dhanwapur and Jharsa’s Krishna Colony and mechanised sewer cleaning machines had to be pressed into service.
Deepa Verma, a resident of Dhanwapur, said, “The dairy farms should be relocated outside of residential areas. The streets sometimes become unwalkable because of sewage overflow. The wastewater stinks and also attracts mosquitoes. Residents here are worried about their health. Several people have raised this issue with the municipality and on social media, but the situation hasn’t changed.”
According to a survey by the MCG last year, there are at least 570 registered dairy farms in the district, of which 241 farms are located in Zone 1, 259 in Zone 2, 45 in Zone 3 and 25 in Zone 4.
Before the survey, which commenced in October last year, the number had earlier been estimated at around 320, indicating an increase in dairy farms.
An official with the animal husbandry department, who did not wish to be identified, said that this is indeed the case. “There are also many small dairy farms that do not have any kind of registration. They also generate a lot of waste, although I cannot comment on how the waste is disposed of since that is not the purview of my department,” the official said.
Bijender Sharma, a senior sanitation inspector with the MCG, said, “This is an issue that we are constantly grappling with. We issue dozens of challans every year against poor waste disposal practices at dairy farms, but more needs to be done.”
To address this issue, the MCG had last year tabled a proposal to shift such farming operations outside Gurugram’s municipal limits. While Sharma did not directly comment on the status of the proposal, another MCG official who is privy to the matter confirmed that issues of land acquisition in peri-urban areas have slowed the progress of the proposal.
Vinay Pratap Singh, municipal commissioner, Gurugram, could not be contacted on Tuesday despite multiple attempts.
Jitendra Garg, the joint commissioner of MCG, said, “We are aware of the issue. Discharging wastewater or dung openly in residential areas cannot be allowed. The authorities concerned will serve notices to the dairy farmers warning them of stricter action.”