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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Aamir show spurs clamour for safe waste disposal

Darpan Singh , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 20, 2014
First Published: 21:25 IST(20/3/2014) | Last Updated: 21:27 IST(20/3/2014)

After Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, on his TV show Satyamev Jayate aired on Sunday, highlighted the ill-effects of a south Delhi waste-burning plant on public health, environmentalists and institutions have renewed their campaign for better waste management techniques in the capital.

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Activists under the banner of NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan (YJA) on Thursday wrote to Delhi's lieutenant governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung, urging him to review all waste disposal plans in the city and explore alternatives to landfills and waste-burning plants. With the Capital under President's rule, Jung is in charge of state administration.

Referring to the TV show, YJA's Manoj Misra has requested Jung to save the city from getting littered with man-made garbage hills "not only on land but also in the skies in form of toxic fumes emanating from waste-to-energy plants".

Despite local residents repeatedly seeking closure of the south Delhi plant, the Delhi government has allowed building of two more such plants in east (Ghazipur) and north (Bawana) Delhi.

"There is enough waste management expertise available, as highlighted by in the tv show. The idea must be to segregate waste at home, reuse, recycle and treat the rest," said Misra.  

Holy Family Hospital, which is within 500 metres of the South Delhi waste-burning plant, has in an open letter to the prime minister's office also demanded its closure.

The hospital on Thursday held a meeting where its director, Father PA George expressed concern over "the deteriorating air quality" around the campus. "We are anxious to maintain the quality of service to our patients," he said.

"Patients have been coming to us with severe respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. Such complications are attributable to the high levels of toxic emissions from the plant. There is also a biomedical incinerator operating in the area," he said.

"The National Green Tribunal is currently hearing a petition that has sought closure of the plant. The tribunal has on occasions found fault with the way it has been functioning. We have also served a notice, asking why it should not be shut for causing pollution," said a Delhi pollution control committee official.


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