Having reached its capacity, the Okhla sanitary landfill site is under tremendous pressure. As no alternative is available, nearly 2,700 metric tonne (MT) garbage is still dumped every day here. Alarmed with the prevailing situation, the SDMC is thinking of ways to resolve the issue. The civic body has planned to set up three recycling plants for construction and demolition (C&D) waste where debris would be crushed and converted into tiles. As per an estimate, the Okhla site receives 1,000MT of construction waste from all four zones in south Delhi.
These recycling facilities would be set up in Bakkarwala and Dwarka. The land has been indentified. The third unit may come up in central zone for which the DDA has been asked for land. This proposed construction and demolition waste recycling centre will cater to the requirement of both central and south zones.
The development has happened following the Delhi high court’s direction to all three corporations and the Delhi government to immediately address the issue of huge volumes of waste at landfill sites.
The height of the garbage heap has reached 48.5 metre, against the permissible height of 20 metre.
“The sanitary landfill site has already crossed the permissible limit and about 2,700MT of garbage is dumped here every day. In addition to this, 1,000MT of construction waste also reaches here. We have decided to stop the dumping of construction waste here and send it to the construction waste plant,” said Subhash Arya, leader of house, SDMC. According to him, tendering has been done for the construction of waste and management site at Bakkarwal and work will start in another two months.
To expedite the process transfer of land for the third centre in central zone, Shyam Sharma, mayor, SDMC, met Najeeb Jung, Delhi Lieutenant Governor last week. “Though the matter of transferring the land from the DDA is pending in the Delhi High Court, we have sought intervention of L-G to help us get permission to start development project over a big vacant plot,” said Sharma.
Recently, the mayor and senior officials of SDMC visited the Okhla SLF where two advanced hydraulic bulldozers and two excavators were introduced. They are used for levelling the construction waste dumped here. The new machines have been purchased for around Rs 3 crore. “Due to the rising pressure at the site, the situation is becoming unmanageable for sanitation workers, who faced a lot of problem in levelling the garbage and creating space for additional tonnes. To give them immediate relief we arranged for two bulldozers and two excavators. But we need additional land in the long-term,” said Sharma.
The officials say that creating a new landfill site as Okhla site has beyond its saturation point is the need of the hour.
A senior official of the SDMC said that the agency is also in talks with the DDA to transfer the adjoining 14 acre of land for garbage dumping to ease pressure on Okhla site.
“Even though a waste-to-energy plant is already functional at the sanitary landfill site, it’s not enough to deal with the accumulated million tonne of garbage. The plan just processes 1,500MT of waste every day while the rest of it remains here,” said senior SDMC official.
The Okhla landfill site is spread over 32 acre. Currently, it has reached its permissible limit as over 50 lakh tonnes of garbage has been dumped here to date. The site caters to south Delhi and the landfill site is fast becoming the highest mound of around 160 feet above ground level.