Ghazipur landfill in Delhi smoulders, blame game on | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Ghazipur landfill in Delhi smoulders, blame game on

Apr 23, 2024 05:32 AM IST

A fire at Delhi's Ghazipur landfill site, with 8.4 million tonnes of waste, triggered political blame. Firefighters struggled to fully contain the blaze.

A thick cloud of smoke continued to billow out of the Ghazipur landfill site, enveloping the surrounding areas in east Delhi, after a portion of the country’s largest garbage dumpsite — which holds at least 8.4 million tonnes of waste — caught fire on Sunday evening.

Firefighting operations underway at Gazipur landfill on Monday morning. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)
Firefighting operations underway at Gazipur landfill on Monday morning. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)

The fire that began at 5.22pm on Sunday was yet to abate fully till Monday evening. Till 10.30pm, a cloud of smoke hung over the gigantic landfill, with small pockets of garbage still ablaze.

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The fire at the massive landfill triggered a political blame game yet again as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) levelled allegations against each other for the poor pace of efforts to flatten the landfill and the overall poor management of solid waste in the Capital.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva, who visited the landfill the site on Monday morning, said the fire was “caused due to criminal negligence by the AAP administrations in MCD and the Delhi government”.

“Ahead of the MCD elections in 2022, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had promised that the landfill site would be cleared by December 2023. This burning dump is an example of the AAP’s corruption. Forget about clearing it...a new landfill site has been created instead. More than half of the trommels at the site are non-operational. New company has not been appointed as the MCD standing committee has not been constituted,” Sachdeva said.

The fire broke out at the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi after a hiatus of 10 months — and the first fire at a landfill this year — prompting authorities to rush at least eight fire tenders and excavators to the spot. Officials said that the flames and the first layer of soot were spotted around 5pm drifting towards the middle of the landfill facing the Ghazipur paper market and drain. The last landfill fire in Delhi was reported at Ghazipur on June 12, 2023.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Delhi minister Atishi said the fire has been doused and expressed hope that the smoke will also “fade away in some time”. “Fire tenders from Delhi Fire Service were present at the spot throughout the night. We hope the smoke will also go away soon. MCD deputy mayor Aaley Iqbal visited the spot Saturday evening and supervised the operations. Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi is going to visit the site,” the minister said.

Both sides have raised questions over the origin of fire. Atishi said the government will investigate how the fire broke out. “We will investigate how the fire broke out,” Atishi said.

Sachdeva also said that the cause of the fire should be investigated. “The fire did not break out naturally. There is clear corruption behind this. It should be investigated and action should be taken against the guilty,” the BJP leader said.

Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg said following the call about the fire at 5.22pm on Saturday, two fire tenders were sent to the spot. As the fire soon spread, a total of 10 tenders were pressed into service.

Officials said firefighters worked in shifts but pockets of fire continued to erupt till Monday evening.

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