PK Gupta, the north commissioner, says educating the masses on segregation of waste is a big challenge and also a work in progress. Excerpts from an interview.
The landfill at Bhalaswa exhausted its lifespan long time back. Will the Narela-Bawana road landfill suffice for entire north Delhi?
The Narela-Bawana road site is meant for only two zones — Civil Lines and Rohini. Waste from the other four zones of north Delhi goes to the Bhalaswa landfill site. We are also building a waste-to-energy plant at Narela, tenders for which have already been floated.
But the waste-to-energy plant at Okhla continues to face protests because of environmental concerns.
Technology-wise, the plant we are building will be different. One major issue is that the Okhla plan is situated in a congested area, but the plant at Narela is not.
Delhi’s environment department says waste in Delhi is not fit for burning.
Direct burning of waste is not allowed. However, waste-to-energy plants are the only way of utilising and recycling garbage.
When will the process to reclaim the Bhalaswa landfill begin? And how long will it take?
Consultants have been hired to carry out a detailed study which will take two-three months. Work will start in a year and should be complete in 10 years. Only 20 per cent inert garbage will be dumped at the Narela-Bawana road landfill. The work will start by next year.
Door-to-door collection began in two zones. How has the response been?
The firm’s performance has been just about average as they lack manpower and machinery. There are several places where they are not collecting garbage on a daily basis.
Segregation of garbage at source, which would ease much burden on the landfill, has been a challenge. How are you going to deal with this problem?
It is a big challenge. We are trying to educate the masses. At some places, there are two separate bins, but people are not utilising them properly. Evolution of any system takes time. Hopefully in the near future people will learn the importance of waste segregation.