The notorious Ghazipur landfill has reached gigantic proportions, literally. The garbage dump in East Delhi that was commissioned in 1984 has now reached a height of 65 metres, making it only 8 metres shorter than the famous Qutub Minar, as revealed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forests. The garbage dump, spread across 29 acres, has been adversely impacting the lives of residents in Khoda, Kaushambi, Gharoli, Gharoli Extension, Kondli, Kalyanpuri, and Ghazipur, a report prepared by the committee said.
The Ghazipur garbage dump had reached 60 metres last year when the accident in which a part of the landfill caved in killing two people took place. Soon after, the civic authorities had assured a series of measures to prevent such incidents in the future. However, it is unclear what measures are being undertaken.
“It is gaining height rather than losing because we have no alternatives to dispose of tonnes of garbage generated from east Delhi every day. Also, we are running under severe financial crisis and thus can’t afford to invest on new projects,” said Pradeep Khandelwal, chief engineer at EDMC’s department of environment management services, as mentioned in a report in Hindustan Times.
In fact, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal stopped all dumping of garbage after the incident, but a few days later it resumed.
Khandelwal also said that as a measure to keep the mammoth garbage dump under control, EDMC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the NHAI to use Ghazipur landfill waste to construct a 74-km stretch at the 137-km long Delhi-Meerut Expressway. However, NHAI only used the material on a 2-km stretch on a pilot basis. This, he said, shattered all their hopes to reduce the height of the garbage dump.
Ghazipur landfill is one of the four garbage dumpsites and the oldest one in Delhi. According to a report in India Today, Delhi produces 10,000 tonnes of garbage every day. It has gone up significantly from 8,500 tonnes in 2013. On the other hand, Mumbai has made considerable headway when it comes to reduction of garbage. From 9,400 tonnes in 2013, daily trash generation in the city has come down to 7,700 tonnes. This could also be the effect of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016 that Mumbai implemented getting RWA and commercial buildings to separate the dry and wet waste.
The EDMC officials are actively working on acquiring new sites. Eighty eight acres at Sonia Vihar and 50 acres at Ghonda Gujran are two shortlisted sites for solid waste management.