More than one-fifth of the slit that blocks Delhi's drains during the monsoon season is made up of empty gutkha and pan masala packets, a study by urban planners from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur has revealed.
More than one-fifth of the slit that blocks Delhi’s drains during the monsoon season is made up of empty gutkha and pan masala packets, a study by urban planners from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur has revealed. The study was conducted by three researchers from the institute to find out the reason behind waterlogging and traffic jams in the national capital. According to a report by Hindustan Times, they surveyed the drains for two weeks and found out that 22% of the silt in drains is caused by gutkha and pan masala packets.
The study also revealed that 27% of the trash came from plastic bags and plastic film, 39% from paper and other soluble waste, and the remaining 12% from dust, leaves and twigs. TS Ramachandran, professor in urban design and road management at IIT-Kharagpur, along with two of his colleagues – Pravin Nath and Prasanth Kumar – surveyed 35 arterial roads between July 2 and July 15.
Ramachandran was quoted as saying in the report that most drains in Delhi look like mini gutkha factories and the wrappers are more harmful than regular plastic bags because they’re thicker. He said that these packs which are thrown on roadsides get carried to the mouths of the drains and block the passage of water.
“We collected 40kg of packaging waste, and the pan masala wrappers constituted a major share of it. When the mouth of the drain is blocked, water is unable to seep through it, even if it has the capacity to sieve out water,” he said.
The national capital region had witnessed heavy rainfall on July 13 and 16 leading to traffic jams at many parts of the city. Incidents of cave-ins due to waterlogging were also reported. Apart from blocking the drainage, gutkha, pan masala and snack wrappers also cause more harm to the environment as compared to regular plastic waste because of its non-recyclable properties.