Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday stressed the need for immediate intervention at the Capital’s largest landfill site, Bhalswa, and directed the municipal corporation to use modern technologies to manage solid waste.
Baijal visited the landfill with the three commissioners of the municipal corporations, secretary (power), secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, officers of the L-G’s secretariat and agencies concerned.
“The L-G told officials there is a need to implement efficient solid waste management strategies. He directed the agencies concerned to work in coordination with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee,” a senior official said.
Baijal will conduct a review meeting early next week regarding measures to be taken for proper solid waste management, including the Bhalswa landfill site, with officers and agencies concerned.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has already earmarked R5 crore to prepare the landfill site in north-west Delhi in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules, in 2017-18. In December last year, an expert committee was constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 2 to look into the working of waste-to-energy plants in the Capital.
Commissioned in 1993, the Bhalswa landfill site became functional in 1994. But due to lack of any garbage management laws, the site turned into a mountain of garbage. Though the landfill ran out of space in 2007, the municipality continues to dump trash here in the absence of space elsewhere.
Experts say the trash piled in dump yards degenerates into highly combustible methane gas. Some fires are deliberate, set off by rag-pickers to segregate metal from mixed waste. Others may be accidental, sparked by a burning cigarette tossed away carelessly. The dry atmospheric heat sets these dumps ablaze.
Three out of Delhi’s four landfills ran out of space nearly a decade ago. Today, Delhi is drowning in its own trash and there is no place to dump. Landfills, experts say, should be the last option for waste management and recycling is the only way to reduce the trash load sent to the dump sites.