After Ghazipur, Bhalswa landfill goes up in flames

Published on Apr 27, 2022 05:02 AM IST

A senior North MCD official said efforts to douse the fire were on till late night and the corporation has deployed excavators to dump sand on the origin point.

A view of the fire that broke out at the Bhalswa landfill site in north Delhi on Tuesday night (HT Photo)
A view of the fire that broke out at the Bhalswa landfill site in north Delhi on Tuesday night (HT Photo)
By, New Delhi

A fire broke out at the Bhalswa landfill site in north Delhi on Tuesday evening and continued to burn late into the night, even as 10 fire tenders of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) battled the blaze since 5.45pm. This is fourth major fire to be reported from Delhi’s landfill sites in the last one month, with the three previous blazes being reported from east Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill.

A senior North MCD official said efforts to douse the fire were on till late night and the corporation has deployed excavators to dump sand on the origin point. “It is not yet known whether the fire was caused by methane generation or human activity,” the municipal official said.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to provide a detailed report on the fire within 24 hours.

With temperatures rising in the city, the frequency of landfill fires has also increased.

The first major inferno this summer was reported at Ghazjpur on March 28, and it continued to burn for three days. Two more blazes were reported at the site on April 10 and April 20, the DFS said.

A second senior north corporation official said when temperatures rise, methane generated by decaying organic matter — from legacy waste at the landfill — also increases. “Methane gas spontaneously ignites under such weather conditions. It is a natural phenomenon. Such a major fire at Bhalswa has not occurred lately and we will look into the exact cause once the situation is under control,” the official said, asking not to be named.

A DFS official said proper treatment of waste is the only solution. “The MCD should place an inert layer of sand and construction waste after every layer of freshly dumped waste. These act as barriers against fires,” the official said.

Jogi Ram Jain, standing committee chairman, north corporation said all bulldozers have been pressed into action to dump inert material. “Our teams and sanitation department chief are at the spot. We are trying to extinguish the fire tonight itself. An inquiry will be conducted,” he said.

The Aam Aadmi Party has blamed the “mismanagement” of the BJP-led civic bodies for the fires. Durgesh Pathak, AAP leader in charge of municipal affairs, said, “These fires are due to the corruption of BJP-led corporations and it will take them down.”

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