Deposit ₹250 crore for bioremediation of landfills: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday directed the Delhi government and civic bodies to deposit an amount of ₹250 crore to an escrow account for a bioremediation and biomining project that is to be undertaken to deal with the Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalswa landfill sites.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel specified that out of the total amount, the Delhi government is liable to pay ₹125 crore while the other half of the amount is to be borne by the civic bodies, which will also include a cost of ₹20 crore each from the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment Board.

Stating that in case the civic bodies fail to deposit the amounts no corporation officer will get their salaries, the Bench observed, “At Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla, leachate is contaminating the groundwater which is turning yellow and orange. The leachate is also reaching the Yamuna. There are traces of heavy metals in the groundwater and other parameters are several times beyond the permissible range.”

Directing authorities to begin work from October 1, the Bench said, “We are giving you a scientific solution. All this indecisiveness and putting blame on one another needs to stop. This [bioremediation] is already being followed in Ahmedabad. We will follow it for the entire country. It is a scientific model and cost effective. All that you have to do is temporarily hire machines and labour. No tender is needed either.”

The green panel also came down heavily on the north municipal corporation for providing an estimated cost of ₹1,200 crore to remediate the landfill.

“Have you studied the Indore model? Why can’t that model be copied? It will create havoc somewhere else if you cap it. In the short-term it is okay, but long-term there will be plenty of problems, both in terms of human health and environment in unquantifiable terms,” the Bench said.

Referring to a recent order the NGT had passed pertaining to the Pirana landfill site in Ahmedabad, the Bench suggested that once the land is reclaimed, a biodiversity park or a waste processing plant can be set up.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 1:45:08 PM |

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