Garbage Dump Relocation in Guwahati: Local population of Guwahati's Chandrapur have vehemently opposed and denounced the decision to relocate Guwahati's waste disposal site from Boragaon in West Guwahati to the newly designated site in the city's eastern outskirts. Residents are concerned that the relocation would have an impact on the area's biodiversity.
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) began dumping rubbish in Chandrapur on June 28 in response to an Assam government directive issued on June 24 instructing Kamrup Metro district officials to stop dumping waste at the Boragaon site and instead utilise the alternate site at Chandrapur.
On June 28, residents of Chandrapur joined members of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) in a 10-hour sit-in protest against the city's intention to dump solid wastes. They are concerned that all waste created in Guwahati would be disposed of in the Chandrapur landfill. Guwahati, with a population of over a million people, produces 550 tonnes of solid garbage every day.
Tutumani Kalita, the leader of the AASU, who has been protesting since September 2019, stated that the June 28 rally was part of a series of protests and demonstrations against the garbage dumping that would continue until the dumping ceases.
"We have written to the chief minister and sought his intervention as well. Chandrapur is a popular tourist destination due to its greenery and geographical location on the banks of Brahmaputra. We vehemently oppose the dumping of the entire waste materials from the city. The waste has destroyed the ecology in Deepor Beel and now it will pollute the water of Kolong and Brahmaputra rivers," Kalita said.
Locals are concerned because the site is adjacent to the Kolong river, which, along with the Digaru, merges with the Brahmaputra in close proximity, and Chandrapur is a natural corridor between two biodiversity sites – Amchang wildlife sanctuary on the west and Pobitora wildlife sanctuary across the Kolong on the east – and the native people's harmony with nature is likely to be disrupted.
According to a National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruling dated February 11, 2020, Chandrapur is one of four sites assigned to GMC for the purpose of building Integrated Solid Waste Management Facilities (SWMF) in Guwahati. The NGT had requested that the dumping area at Boragaon, which was next to the freshwater lake Deepor Beel, be relocated. For a long time, environmental organisations and environmentalists have been appealing to the government.