AAP launches month-long anti-garbage campaign to highlight BJP’s failures
Delhi Police barricaded the entry towards the garbage mound as AAP volunteers raised slogans against the civic governance
Lawmaker Atishi led a protest near the Ghazipur landfill site as Delhi’s ruling Aam Admi Party (AAP) launched its month-long “anti-garbage campaign” to highlight issues related to sanitation on Wednesday and “the reality” of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-controlled civic body’s garbage mismanagement and impending health crisis for people living around landfills.
Delhi Police barricaded the entry towards the garbage mound as AAP volunteers raised slogans against the civic governance a day after a delimitation panel submitted its draft report ahead of municipal polls.
Atishi said the BJP will be defeated in the municipal elections. “The BJP thought it could stop the people from seeing the landfill by placing barricades in our way but the huge mountain of garbage they have given to Delhi is also visible even from a distance of 2 kilometres. These mountains of garbage will only get cleared out of Delhi when the BJP’s maladministration and incompetence get cleared out of Delhi.’
Kuldeep Kumar, another AAP lawmaker, said the garbage mounds in Delhi have made the lives of people difficult. He said the Delhi Police prevented them from visiting the Ghazipur landfill and that the people have the right to see “this colossal failure”. “Why is the BJP afraid to show this monument they have developed over 17 years...”
AAP’s Delhi convener and minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday announced the month-long campaign and said the party’s lawmakers will visit landfills until September 16.
Atishi said people see the Ghazipur garbage mountain every time they are about to enter Delhi. “This is a matter of shame for the people of Delhi. We are raising our voices against it. ...If you stop us from going to the landfill site, it does not mean the mountain of garbage will not be visible. It will only disappear when the BJP will start cleaning the garbage from the streets of Delhi.”
The municipal authorities have undertaken a biomining project to clear the landfill sites. They have said 5.5 million tonnes of legacy waste have been removed from the landfill sites. Three such sites hold around 280 lakh tons of waste accumulated over the last four decades.
Launched in 1984, the Ghazipur landfill is the biggest garbage dump in the city and it holds over 140 lakh tons of waste. The Bhalswa and Okhla landfills were started in 1994. The three sites have exhausted their capacity but the garbage continues to be dumped there due to a lack of new sites.
Atishi cited the current pace of clearance and said these landfills would not be cleared for over the next 200 years. “Even if they shut the intake and work on clearing it, it will take 27 years. AAP is exposing the reality of the BJP’s landfills. We are inviting all Delhiites to come along to landfills. We invite every resident of Delhi to come with us and see the reality of BJP’s rule.”
BJP leader Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the civic authorities have expedited the segregation of waste at the landfills and have been able to clear tonnes of legacy waste. “What contribution has Rai made as [Delhi] environment minister to clear the landfills?” He said the AAP government left the three erstwhile civic bodies financially crippled, which affected several projects, including the speedy removal of the landfill sites. Kapoor said the work on garbage disposal using trommel machines has gained pace over the last four months. “The garbage dumps are likely to be cleared soon.”
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta added that BJP believes in swachhta abhiyan, and sanitation has become a national focus due to efforts of PM Narendra Modi. “We have focused on sanitation for eight years but for AAP it is a seasonal, electoral matter. Unlike AAP, we stay with people 365 days. We organise cleanliness campaigns even on PM’s birthday while AAP is engaged in various corruption cases and scams,” he said.