More than one-fourth of Delhi’s garbage will now be dumped at a new site in north Delhi’s Rani Khera from Sunday, after Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal banned dumping of garbage at Ghazipur with immediate effect on Saturday afternoon.
Hindustan Times spoke to experts to understand how practical a solution is it to dump Delhi’s one-fourth garbage at a non-engineered site and for how long can garbage trucks be transported all the way from east Delhi to north?
Most experts HT spoke to said that it is high time that the civic agency understand the problem and seriously work on implementation of long-term as well as short-term plans to deal with increasing garbage mess in city.
KS Mehra, former commissioner of unified MCD, said, “We need to understand that garbage generation would only increase day by day. And to deal with the waste, we need a facility in neighbouring areas only. It is not feasible to take the garbage all the way from east to North Delhi every day.”
“Considering there is no availability of land in Delhi, it is important to aggressively work upon increasing capacity of waste-to-energy plant and compost system as short-term measures,” added Mehra.
He then explained how civic agencies should start the process for remediation of landfill as a long-term solution. “And as the land gets cleared, it should be redeveloped as engineered landfill site which will be operational forever and provide solution for treating leachete as well as harmful gasses.”
A senior MCD official said that non-availability of land is among the major hurdles MCD faces in disposing off waste. “Even if we get the land allocated from DDA, people living in the eneighbourhood don’t allow us to dump waste here. In fact we are already facing these issues at recently sanctioned sites by DDA recently in North Delhi.”
Ravi Agarwal, director of the NGO Toxics Link, also accepted that discontinuing the garbage at Ghazipur landfill is not a permanent solution. “You need alternate sites and agencies have time and again cited shortage of land. The other landfill sites, too, have exhausted their capacity long time back,” Agarwal said.
Experts also pointed out that rather than depending on landfill sites, it’s time Delhi focuses on processing of garbage in large quantity.
Swati Sambhyal, centre for science and environment said, “The only lesson we have learnt from this incident that it is unfair to be dependent on more and more land for the disposal of garbage. We should rather emphasise on processing of garbage in large quantity, the way cities like Bengaluru and Mysore are doing it.”