Bandhwari landfill: Leachate spills again, pollution board collects samples
Following repeated complaints from residents and environmentalists of leachate spill in the forest areas adjoining the Bandhwari landfill, officials from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board visited the site and collected samples on Friday.
A team from the wildlife department also visited the area for an inspection and found that leachate was getting mixed with water in a watering hole set up for animals in the forest area.
“The condition there is very bad, with dirty leachate water spilling into forest areas. There was leachate spilt in large quantities on the kuchha road (on the side of the landfill) that leads to the villages inside, through the forest area. Samples have been collected by the pollution control board, after which we will prepare a report and take action accordingly,” a wildlife official said, requesting anonymity.
Vaishali Chandra, a city-based environmentalist, said, “Time and again, leachate is released into the forests near the landfill, polluting the soil and their drinking water sources. We found two pondages formed behind the landfill site filled with leachate and a third was a watering hole for the wildlife. If the wildlife is drinking water from there, their health will also get affected.”
Kuldeep Singh, the regional officer of HSPCB, Gurugram North, said, “We have collected samples from three sites which have been sent for analysis. We will be taking action against the authorities concerned after the report is released within two weeks, combined with the findings of last month’s report.”
Meanwhile, officials of Ecogreen Energy, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram’s concessionaire for waste management at the Bandhwari landfill, said that they would have to check if the water released is leachate or dirty water.
Sanjeev Sharma, the spokesperson for Ecogreen Energy, said, “In our knowledge, there is no spillage of leachate from the landfill; we will have to see if it is dirty rainwater or leachate. The pollution control board can collect samples anytime, we do not interfere with that.”
In the second week of August as well, the HSPCB had collected samples of leachate from the Bandhwari landfill, an analysis of which revealed that it contained chemicals over the permissible limits as well as toxic substances.
According to the report, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), zinc, chloride, fluoride were all found to be significantly higher than permissible norms. The BOD level of the samples collected from a pond inside the forest area was 540 mg/l, while the COD was 1680 mg/l, chloride was 420mg/l and fluoride was 1mg/l.
Experts had then said that elements such as fluoride, even in minuscule quantities, can be harmful as it affects bones in the human body. According to Central Pollution Control Board norms, BOD for a river or waterbody should be less than 30mg/l and COD should be less than 250 mg/l.