Delhi’s landfill sites raise a stink

The national capital has the tallest and highest number of ‘garbage mountains’ among the four metros.

Published: 10th September 2017 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2017 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

Ghazipur landfill site

NEW DELHI: The recent Ghazipur landfill collapse that claimed two lives has brought the burning issue of garbage dumping sites in Delhi to the forefront. Delhi’s landfill sites are the tallest among all metropolitan cities—Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Delhi’s ‘garbage mountains’ are almost 50 per cent taller than Deonar in Mumbai. Garbage equivalent to the weight of 2,500 elephants is being dumped into Delhi’s three landfill sites—Okhla, Ghazipur, and Bhalaswa every day. Ironically, Deonar was started in 1927, almost 60 years before Delhi identified its first landfill site.

A ministry of civil aviation official said the height of Delhi’s dumping ground is also a threat to aircraft. “These landfill sites are constantly increasing in height and birds hover over these sites. They are very close to the air route, threatening aircraft. The matter was raised at a high-level meeting January,” the official said.

The height of the Ghazipur landfill site is above 50 metres,  Bhalaswa landfill site reaches up to 48 metres, while the Okhla landfill site towers at over 53 metres. Even as these issues lie unattended, the blame game is on among political parties. According to the Delhi government, they neither have a role in allotment of land nor in development and maintenance of the site. Both responsibilities rest with the agencies under the BJP.

“BJP has been governing the MCD for the past 10 years and has completely failed to efficiently and successfully carry out its responsibilities. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which has to allot land to BJP-ruled MCD for a new landfill site also comes under the Central government,” the AAP said when questioned on the issue.

On the other hand, BJP alleges that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is not interested in solving the problem. “Had the Kejriwal government taken cognizance of the issue, this situation would not have risen. The Delhi government is shying away from its responsibility,” Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said.

On the Rise

Delhi’s ‘garbage mountains’ are almost 50 per cent taller than Deonar in Mumbai.

Garbage equivalent to the weight of 2,500 elephants is being dumped into Delhi’s three landfill sites every day.

These sites have risen up to 53 metres in last 30 years and are running well over capacity.

The height of these sites is almost equal to a 20-storey building.

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