NEW DELHI: The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) will form an expert committee to ascertain health impact of landfills on the women and children living in their vicinity. The expert committee will focus on the health of women and children living in their vicinity as well as the MCD sanitation workers at the landfill. The committee will submit a report to the government on this issue. On April 25, a massive fire had broken out at the landfill site at Bhalswa Dairy. The incident caused several poisonous gasses to spread to nearby residential areas, leading to a terrible and disastrous situation having extreme adverse health and environmental impact.
According to the commission, it learnt that residents of the area had to face several health issues due to the terrible fire raging from the site. The residents informed the commission that poisonous fumes generated due to the fire, which raged on for several days, entered their homes and severely affected the health of all residents including women and children in the area. On a daily basis, the people living in the vicinity of landfills in Delhi are subjected to poisonous fumes, unbearable stench and water pollution due to the landfill sites.
Commission chief Swati Maliwal had also issued summons to then North MCD commissioner on April 29 seeking a detailed report on the incident. Senior officials from MCD had appeared before the Commission and provided the sought information. It was learnt that Bhalswa landfill site was commissioned in 1994 by the unified MCD. From 1994 till 2012, the site was maintained by the unified MCD, and thereafter by the North MCD.
Officials informed that no steps were taken by the MCD for clearing the dumpsite for 25 years, which is from 1994 till 2019. In October 2019, the bio-mining/remediation work for clearing the site was started only after the orders of the National Green Tribunal.
As per the commission, presently 2,200 MT of solid waste is being dumped at the Bhalswa site on a daily basis. North MCD stated that an MoU was signed with IOCL for setting up 2,500 TPD MSW processing plant but due to high rate received from lone bidder, fresh tender will be invited in July. Until then, every day, more and more waste shall continue to be added to the landfill site.