EDMC struggling to reduce garbage burden at Ghazipur landfill
Several planned measures are either yet to be launched or have not been implemented in full steamUpdated: Aug 31, 2018 09:41 IST
Having failed to find a lasting solution to the ever-increasing mountain of garbage at Ghazipur landfill, the east Delhi municipal corporation (EDMC) is looking for alternatives to manage nearly 13 million tonnes of solid waste at the 29-acre dumping yard.
The landfill supposed to be shut in 2002 as it had been polluting air, water and soil since 1984, but in the absence of a solution, nothing could be done, experts said.
Nearly 2,700 metric tonnes of garbage is generated in east Delhi every day, of which 1,100 metric tonnes is dumped at Ghazipur. Going through a crippling financial crunch, the EDMC is now looking at various solutions that can be implemented with minimal investment, including those in the partnership of private firms on PPP basis.
Hindustan Times looks at some initiatives that are either in pipeline or already implemented to deal with the increasing burden of garbage by civic agency in the past few months.
Sloping of landfill
In a bid to avoid recurrence of the cave-in last year which killed two people, the EDMC had invited experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) last year to get opinion on ways to sloping of the landfill.
“The faculty had already submitted the study and advised on the short-term stabilisation measures for the sloping of landfill parallel to the canal, a portion of which collapsed last year,” said an EDMC official. The work for sloping of the landfill is expected to start from September end, said the official.
Sloping is a process in which the garbage is dumped in a manner in which the dump attains a particular shape, while simultaneously arresting soil erosion, to ensure that the garbage doesn’t slide.
The experts, however, blame the civic agency for being slow. “When the report has already been submitted why the implementation was not done,” said Chitra Mukherjee, head of programmes, Chintan, an NGO.
Generating water, power
On August 4, the EDMC had launched a pilot project to generate electricity, water and green fuel from the garbage dumped at the landfill. The project was implemented on a PPP basis.
“We had launched the project, which will use Plasma Gasification Technology and the plant is expected to produce electricity by March 2019,” said Pradeep Khandelwal, chief engineer at EDMC’s department of environmental management services.
As per the agreement, the civic agency provided three acres of land adjacent to the landfill to the company for establishing a plant of 200 metric tonne capacity on a pilot basis.
“We will evaluate the performance of the plant for one year and after that a decision will be taken to increase its capacity to 1,500 metric tonnes per day and extend the agreement for 21 years,” Ranbir Singh, EDMC commissioner, had said earlier.
Enhancing capacity of energy plant
The civic agency is waiting for approval from the environment ministry to increase the capacity of its waste-to-energy plant in Okhla, from 1,200 metric tonnes to 2,000 metric tonnes.
Currently, of the total garbage generated in the city, only 5,500 metric tonnes is consumed at three waste-to-energy plants in Okhla, Bawana and Ghazipur.
“To bridge the gap, plans are afoot to increase the capacity of existing plants or come up with new ones. This will help the
three civic agencies to process 10,000 metric tonnes of waste for generating power,” said an official.
Experts, however, said that in most environmentally conscious communities, incineration is treated as the last option after all other ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste have been exhausted.
Decentralise waste processing
EDMC claims that it has engaged hundreds of waste-pickers for the segregation of waste in five to six colonies, including Anand Vihar, Preet Vihar, Dilshad Garden, Vivek Vihar and Trilokpuri.
“Why are they implementing the projects on a pilot basis when waste rules stress on segregation of garbage at source,” said Mukherjee of Chintan.