Cops-locals clash over garbage dumping

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Bhubaneswar: Tension ran high in Daruthenga village on the outskirts of the capital city as a large number of villagers protested against dumping of garbage like yesterday and clashed with police during the dumping of waste materials at the selected place today.

Around 300-400 agitators pelted stones in which some policemen were injured. Tear gas and rubber bullets were fired to disperse the mob, which was getting violent. Twelve villagers were injured in retaliatory action by the police.

“The situation is now under control. A discussion was held with the villagers and dumping of garbage will continue for the time being,” DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said.

The situation turned violent in the morning when the BMC deployed a large contingent of police to dump garbage at the demarcated place at Bhuasuni near Daruthenga village even as locals started blocking road by burning tyres and police reinforcements had to be called.

Amid beefed up security, 132 trips of garbage were dumped today, sources said.

The BMC, which had stopped dumping of garbage at the yard due to protests from villagers till yesterday, resumed dumping with heavy police bandobast after garbage kept piling up near Sainik School here for days.

BMC commissioner Krishan Kumar said the Waste to Energy Treatment Plant is being set up as per the new guidelines of the Centre. “The government of India has notified a new rule on solid waste management for all urban local bodies. We have already received a letter from State Pollution Control Board and Sanitary Control Board asking why the plant has not been constructed yet. We are trying to convince the people about the problem and find a solution to the impasse,” the commissioner said.

He appealed to the villagers to cooperate with the government till the shifting of the dump yard to Tulsadeipur.

On the other hand, the villagers warned the government that they would continue the fight till their demands are fulfilled. “Due to the dumping of garbage, we have lost many lives, both human and cattle. Government has turned a deaf ear to our problem. Our agitation will continue till we get our demands fulfilled,” a woman protester said.

On Thursday, angry over the garbage dumping in the area, locals had scuffled with the police leading to minor injuries to several policemen.

The administration had deployed as many as 18 platoons of police force yesterday to keep the situation under control.

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