Fearing “poisoning of their living environment”, residents of Sukhdev Vihar, Jamia Nagar, Sarita Vihar, Maharani Bagh, New Friends Colony and Okhla on Thursday protested outside the office of ministry of environment and forest against setting up of a waste-to-energy plant near their houses.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), in collaboration with Jindal ITF Ecopolis, is building a 200-crore project at Okhla where more than 1,000 tonnes of solid waste will be converted into electricity from July onwards.
Delhi produces more than 8,000 tonnes of solid waste every day.
The residents submitted a memorandum to union environment minister Jairam Ramesh demanding an immediate stop to any further construction of the plant.
“While there is overwhelming evidence that plants of these types produce toxic gases, residues and respirable particles, the Okhla plant is being set up barely 150m from the nearest established residences,” states the residents’ letter.
While the project is being seen as an answer to the waste problem of Delhi, the residents fear that emissions from the plant will contaminate the environment. The residents have also filed a PIL in court protesting the plant’s proximity to residential areas.
Residents of Sukhdev Vihar and the adjoining New Friends Colony, Jamia Nagar, Haji Nagar, Holy Family Hospital and Sarita Vihar have started a portal called “Okhla ka Ghosla” where they oppose the move and generate public opinion.
“World over, such incinerators are being dismantled due to environmental hazards. Toxic gases emitting out of the plant poisons water and food. And once it enters the food chain, it causes irreparable health damages,” said Ranjit Devraj, one of the residents of Sukhdev Vihar.