No solution in sight for bursting landfills

towering mess:Garbage is piled up 40-metres high — as tall as a 14-storey building — at Ghazipur landfill.Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

: There appears to be no solution for the city’s overstuffed landfills that crossed their intended capacities years ago.

Plans to reclaim the Bhalswa and Ghazipur landfills remain on paper as no alternate dump sites have been identified.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Ghazipur landfill reached saturation in 2002, admitted Chief Engineer (Department of Environment Management Services) P.K. Khandelwal. Over 12.5 million tonnes of garbage has been dumped there.

Garbage at the 70-acre site has reached 40 metres in height. The Centre’s rules say landfills should not be more than 20 to 25 metres in height.

The waste-to-energy plant at Ghazipur is still in trial mode, months after it was completed, as it yet to get the ‘consent to operate’ from the government. The plant can use up to 1,300 metric tonnes of garbage per day to produce 12 megawatts of power.

Though it is functioning below capacity, the Ghazipur plant has produced five million units of power so far, said Mr. Khandelwal.

“We have been asking for new sites for landfills since the 1990s, but have not got any so far. We are in talks with the National Highway Authority of India to use the garbage for filling embankments,” said Mr. Khandelwal.

For the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, reclaiming the Bhalswa landfill remains a distant dream. North Delhi generates 3,100 metric tonnes per day of garbage that ends up at the Bhalswa dump, which was set up in 1994.

In December 2014, a consultant had been appointed to come up with a detailed plan to reclaim the 40-acre site. The plan was to include a waste processing unit, a waste-to-energy plant and greening of the area. However, the consultant ended up backing out.

“We are in the process of appointing a new consultant. The tendering process is on,” said North Corporation spokesperson Y.S. Mann.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:29:37 AM |

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