NEW DELHI: The Delhi Ridge Management Board (RMB) has declined a proposal of the erstwhile South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to dump inert civic waste in the abandoned Bhatti mines, which now are part of the Asola wildlife sanctuary, officials said on Monday.
The move comes close on the heels of Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena issuing directions to prepare a plan to develop 14 abandoned mine pits into reservoirs to collect rain, flood and stormwater, recharge groundwater and turn the area into a world-class eco-tourism destination.
The erstwhile SDMC had in 2020 moved a proposal to use four 30-metre-deep pits measuring 477 acres for dumping of inert waste as it had run out of space to store millions of tonnes of inert materials generated from biomining of legacy waste in landfills.
The pits came about during mining operations at Bhatti mines, spread over 2,166 acres. The mining stopped around 35 years ago, and the city government notified the mines as a wildlife sanctuary in 1991.
The pits have over the decades become an ecologically sensitive water recharge zone and a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, including leopards.
Ridge Management Board, a high-powered body mandated to protect the Delhi Ridge, considered the lungs of the capital, had set up a five-member panel in March last year to examine the proposal.