Garbage incineration leaves residents frustrated, hurting tourism industry in holy city



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, May 12th

Mounds of garbage smolder at the Bagtanwala dumpsite. Another fire broke out last night in a pile of rubbish on a vacant lot in front of the Red Cross office on Old Prison Street. Thick smoke from the burning garbage and poor visibility frustrated residents of Ajnara Road, Ranjit Road and Old Jail Road. Smoke still emanates from the garbage at the Bagtanwala garbage dump. Residents living near the dump have complained of respiratory problems. People who visited the Golden Temple, located 1.5 km from the dump, expressed concerns about pollution in the city. High pollution levels have also affected the holy city’s tourism industry. Tourism industry officials claimed that poor air quality and littered garbage were frustrating tourists.

Gurinder Singh Johar, who works as a guide in the city, said, “Amritsar has become a polluted city. The pollution levels in the city are so high that tourists, including foreigners and locals from Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore, It doesn’t feel good. They don’t like this city where there’s dirt and garbage lying around. The exhaust fumes from autorickshaws and diesel vehicles are making things worse.”

“The fire at Baghtanwala garbage dump has worsened the air quality in the last few days. Neither the municipality nor the government is taking serious measures to combat pollution in the city. Such inaction has ruined the tourism industry in the city. We will,” Dzhokhar said.

Social activist Pawandeep Sharma raised questions about the working of the MC. Sharma said this is the negligence of deputy commissioners, MC commissioners and heads of all government agencies who are allowing garbage incineration in residential areas.

He said, “People are suffering from diseases due to pollution in the city, and the responsibility lies with the administration.No candidate from any political party has shown any concern about pollution in the city.What’s more, garbage is burned by MC staff. Any serious negligence should be registered as a criminal case.”

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