Lower Martam Garbage Dump Ground, SK, India


Four villages nearby Gangtok, the Capital city of Sikkim (Lower Martam, 14th Mile, Nimtar and Mangthang), are facing serious health problems due to the unregulated dumping of municipal waste from the nearby Gangtok town and other areas of the state. The incorrect way of dumping municipal waste has created stinking smell in the area. This has created a breeding ground for worm, mosquitos, and house flies and in the area. Beside this, the toxics emerged from these wastes is a major cause of serious health problems. Local residents alleged that the diseases like lung cancer, TB, MDR, diarrhea, skin infections, allergy and many other ailments have increased among the local population. The people also said cases of TB have risen in the area along with other life-threatening diseases.

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Basic Data
NameLower Martam Garbage Dump Ground, SK, India
SiteVillage- Lower Martam
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe waste dump site is located at Lower Martam areas of southern Sikkim. Presently, more than 40 tons of solid waste is dumped in the site every day. Even hospital and chemical waste from the pharmaceutical companies are being dumped in the site without any pre-treatment. This irresponsible dumping has created an environment and health risk in the area [1].
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population4,000-6,000
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesGangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC) from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Sikkim, State Pollution Control Board (SK), Urban Development & Housing Department
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM)

Local MLA of SKM

Local Villagers
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases, Other Health impacts
Otherlung cancer, TB, MDR, diarrhea, skin infections, allergy
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Development of AlternativesThe local residents along with the MLA announced that if the government unable to take proper action to deal with the waste management, they will continue the protest and will not allow the dumping of waste at the site from 10th August 2014 onwards [1].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The Local MLA who is leading the protest alleged that the people of the area have been complaining for the past five years. However, no actions have been taken by the government. He emphasized on the need for human health mapping of these areas immediately, and urged the State government to take immediate action to ensure proper dumping of solid waste.

State Pollution Control Board of Sikkim is not monitoring the dumping ground properly. Also, the recycle machine was install 8 years ago was not functional. The pollution control board is not taking initiatives to make the machine functional.

The state government has not implemented the “Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules” in Sikkim [1, 2, 3].
Sources and Materials

Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules
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[1] MLA demands better management at Lower Martam garbage dump
[click to view]

[2] Mechung leads Lower Martam residents in protest
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[3] SKM MLA gives 10-day ultimatum to UDHD, GMC
[click to view]

Other Documents

Lower Martam residents in protest Source : http://echoofindia.com/gangtok-mechung-leads-lower-martam-residents-protest-64469
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update29/09/2014