A sanitary and environmental crisis is staring Delhi in the face.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has banned dumping at three of the four landfill sites, years after they exhausted their lifespan.
But the three municipal corporations continue dumping garbage there because there are no alternative sites, leading to massive contamination of soil and groundwater.
Delhi currently has four landfills. The height of garbage piles at three of them - Ghazipur in east, Bhalaswa in north and Okhla in south - have crossed the 30-metre mark, a good 10 metres more than permitted. The Narela-Bawana road site is the newest and only scientific site in the Capital.
"Delhi's landfill space is fast running out and it has serious environmental consequences. We have told the municipal corporations to close the three sites and develop their own waste-to-energy (burning trash to generate electricity) and composting (to produce manure) plants," said a DPCC official.
Delhi has one compost plan and another is coming up. Permission for one more such plant is under consideration at DPCC level. There is one waste-to-energy plant, while two more are under installation.
Yogendra Mann, director (press) of east and north corporations, said, "These new plants will help deal with the problem. But for a long-term relief, we will convert parts of these landfills into scientific sites."
"We have been asking the DDA to provide an alternative site to us, but to no avail," said Mukesh Yadav, director (press) of South body. A DDA official, however, pointed out scarcity of land.