MCD involved in ₹84 cr waste transport graft, says AAP; civic body rejects claim
One of the three oversaturated garbage dump sites in the city, Bhalswa landfill in north Delhi is estimated to hold more than 80 lakh tonnes of accumulated legacy waste.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday accused the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) of corruption to the tune of ₹84 crore in the lifting and transportation of municipal waste from Bhalswa landfill.
AAP Rajinder Nagar MLA Durgesh Pathak, who is also the party leader in charge of MCD matters, said, “The same work of lifting garbage was awarded in February 2022 at the rate of ₹3,250 per tonne while later, the same work was awarded at the rate of ₹400 per tonne. How is this possible? The old company had already processed three lakh tonnes of garbage, at the February rates, which has caused a loss to the public exchequer,” Pathak said.
He demanded the enforcement directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR in the matter against officials and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who were helming the municipal corporation during the award of tender.
Pathak said in February 2020, BJP-ruled MCD had awarded a tender to a private company to lift and transport garbage from the Bhalswa landfill at ₹3,250 per metric tonne. “As per the new rules, the company was supposed to install GPS locators on its trucks, but it refused to do so, leading to the cancellation of the tender. Later, another company was awarded the tender at just ₹400 per metric tonne. The previous company had already processed three lakh tonnes of garbage, implying there has been a scam of around ₹84 crore. When the tender could have been awarded at ₹400 per metric tonne, then why was it awarded for ₹3,250 per metric tonne in the first place? This scam couldn’t have been possible without the collusion of BJP leaders. AAP demands a thorough investigation in the matter,” Pathak said.
One of the three oversaturated garbage dump sites in the city, Bhalswa landfill in north Delhi is estimated to hold more than 80 lakh tonnes of accumulated legacy waste. The site is spread over an area of 36 acres and has reached a height of 62 metres in 2019. In normal circumstances, the maximum height of a landfill should not exceed 15m but due to unavailability of space, fresh garbage dumping continues there.
Responding to the allegations, the MCD issued a statement refuting the charges. “The allegation arises from the fact that on a recent tender called for lifting of RDF from the landfill sites, the rights were allotted at the rate of ₹400 per metric tonne (MT) in August 2022. This difference in rates is the basis of allegation. Municipal Corporation of Delhi finds the allegation a futile attempt to malign the corporation and it rejects such allegation in entirety,” statement reads.
The statement adds: “Corporation has been continually getting rate of transportation for disposal of waste from its landfill sites reduced. Further, the tender process have been transparent and open. Lifting of waste from landfill site is something which cannot be postponed or withheld at any cost...the corporation has been steadfastly working on reducing the transportation cost and has successfully achieved to do so.”
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said AAP leaders are spreading lies.
“Pathak levelled a mischievous allegation of scam on erstwhile north MCD. Actually, the sand generated after garbage disposal is transported to highway project sites and the contractor is paid at per metric tonne rates as per the distance to the sand disposal site. This payment has nothing to do with GPS installation. MCD added this condition just to ensure that sand reaches the correct spot,” Kapoor said.
He added that in 2020, the trucks had to travel very long distances to reach the sites and so the rates were higher and now they are transporting to nearby sites; so rates have come down steeply. “It seems either Pathak doesn’t know how to read contracts or is intentionally making a false claim,” he said.