A notice has been sent to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) by the forest department over pollution caused by the defunct Bandhwari waste management plant in the Aravalli region.
The notice was issued on August 19 for violation of the Indian Forest Act (IFC), 1927 and the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980. Under these rules, no non-forest activity can be carried out in the area.
On Wednesday, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) will hold the next hearing on a petition filed by environmentalists over pollution caused by the plant.
The Bandhwari plant is located in the eco-fragile area of the Aravallis. The plant is defunct since 2013 and waste is not being recycled but only dumped there since then. Over 800 tonnes of waste is dumped at the plant every day.
The notice was sent after forest officials on August 16 inspected the plant from where contaminated water is flowing into the forest area. The department carried out the inspection after it received complaints from environmentalists.
The notice issued by the department to the MCG states that “extensive damage by toxic leachate emanating from the municipal solid waste treatment plant was detected which is highly damaging to the flora and fauna of the forest, apart from polluting the groundwater aquifer of the entire
The inspection came a day after HT reported that leachate or black contaminated water from the plant continues to flow into the Aravallis, a year after the NGT ordered the MCG to ensure proper dumping of waste, collection of the already dumped waste and make sure that the groundwater in the region is not contaminated.
“We inspected the place and a notice has been sent to the MCG for violation of the Indian Forest Act (IFC), 1927 and the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980. The leachate has formed a stream that is flowing out to the Aravallis and the nearby area is also full of waste,” said MD Sinha, conservator of forest, south-circle, Haryana.
“The MCG has sent a proposal seeking another 32 acres in the same area for dumping of waste. This can also lead to aggravation of the problem. If the groundwater gets contaminated, the entire region will suffer,” he said.
The 30-acre plant is located on the Gurgaon-Faridabad road near Asola Sanctuary, which is considered ecologically important by environmentalists
Earlier this week, when MCG officials were asked about the situation, they said they were looking into the matter.
“We failed to clean the area this fortnight because we were occupied with the problems related to waterlogging in the city. We will start the process of cleaning the area again soon. We have a mechanism that will clean the area within 15 days,” TL Satyaprakash, MCG commissioner, had said.
Environmentalists last year submitted a petition in the green court over the situation.
“We have submitted all evidences regarding the present state of the plant and hope the circumstances will improve,” said Vivek Kamboj, an environmentalist.
HT has reported about the pollution and deterioration of the groundwater quality in the area around the plant of being caused due to the leachate flowing out of the plant. The report mentioned that leachate is leaking out of the plant and is getting collected at a large lake in the Aravalli forest area. Also the groundwater in the neighbouring Dera village of Gurgaon has turned yellow and has a frothy layer on the surface, besides a