Processing of garbage has come to halt in Delhi: Bidhuri

Published - April 24, 2024 01:51 am IST - New Delhi

The BJP on Tuesday said the clearing of garbage from the city’s landfill sites have come to a halt and the fire at the Ghazipur dumping ground was caused by the lackadaisical approach of the Delhi government, which has pushed the waste removal deadline further to 2026.            

The Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had promised to clear the landfill sites of Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa by 2023-end while campaigning for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) poll in 2022.

The party had come to power in the civic body after ending the BJP’s 15-year rule in December 2022.    

The fire at Ghazipur landfill broke out on Sunday evening and left people living nearby gasping for breath for more than 24 hours as thick plumes of smoke continued to rise from the site after an over 15-hour operation to put out the flames. 

Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, the Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said it has been almost a year and half since AAP came to power in the MCD but not much progress has been made to get rid of the mounds of garbage in the city.    

“Now, the date [for garbage removal] has been extended to 2026. There is still 90 metric tonnes of garbage lying in Ghazipur,” the BJP leader told reporters.

“The situation is such that trommel machines, which separate garbage from debris, at the Ghazipur landfill site are lying defunct,” he added.

Mr. Bidhuri said when the BJP ruled the civic body, the Delhi government had imposed a fine of ₹50 lakh on the MCD after a similar fire incident at Ghazipur. “Now, the AAP government is just watching the show,” he said.

 Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai had on Monday sought a detailed report from officials by Wednesday over the incident, even as the MCD had assured to launch a probe into the incident to ascertain the reason behind it.

Reacting to the BJP charge, AAP’s chief spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar said the party’s government has continuously worked to clean up the MCD, which was called the “most corrupt department under the BJP rule”.

“The result of such corruption has also led to mountains of garbage around Delhi. We have processed around 13.6 lakh MT of legacy waste. We are still in the process of cleaning the mud left behind by the 15-year of misrule of the BJP in the MCD,” she said.  

She also said all 25 trommel machines at the Ghazipur site are fully functional, contrary to the BJP claim.

‘Will probe incident’

Delhi Finance Minister Atishi on Tuesday said fire tenders remained stationed at the landfill site throughout the Sunday night to douse the flames. “The fire has been extinguished, though some smoke is still billowing from the site. This too will end soon,” she said.

The Minister said Delhi’s Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammad Iqbal had visited the site on Monday evening and supervised the operation while fire tenders were working.

On Tuesday morning, Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi went to the spot. “We will investigate how this fire started and who started this fire,” added Ms. Atishi.

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