MCG misses another deadline, will send daily waste to Bandhwari
Municipal Corporation of Gurugram is yet to identify an alternative place to dump waste following the March 31 deadline to stop daily waste dumping at Bandhwari landfill. The civic agency has decided to continue sending waste to Bandhwari for the time being. The state chief secretary directed the officials of the municipal corporations of Faridabad and Gurugram to start daily waste processing in Faridabad?s Pali by April 22. The civic agency is preparing a two-acre land near the Bandhwari landfill for dumping and processing the civic waste generated by the city daily, while the construction got delayed due to rain over the past two weeks.
With even the extended deadline on March 31, for stopping daily waste dumping at Bandhwari landfill ending on Friday, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is in a fix as it is yet to identify an alternative place to dump waste. Until one is found, the civic agency has, for the time being, decided to continue sending waste to Bandhwari.
On December 30, to resolve the issue of excess legacy waste at Bandhwari, a state committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal decided that from February 15, 2023, onwards, 70% fresh waste generated by Gurugram and 50% waste from Faridabad will not be sent to the landfill. The deadline was extended till March 31 and now at least by another month, said officials.
The state chief secretary on March 3, directed the officials of the municipal corporations of Faridabad and Gurugram to start daily waste processing in Faridabad’s Pali by April 22. The municipal commissioners of Gurugram and Faridabad were also directed to fix responsibility on officials so that in case the deadline to make the Pali site operational is not met, they can be held accountable and subsequently penalised.
Meanwhile, the civic agency is preparing a two-acre land near the Bandhwari landfill for dumping and processing the civic waste generated by the city daily. But the construction got delayed due to rain over the past two weeks, said officials.
Naresh Kumar, joint commissioner of MCG, said owing to protests by locals they are unable to finalise a new site and they are now preparing a space in Bandhwari itself, adjacent to landfill, for dumping the daily waste. “We do not have any other site where we can dump the waste but the new site will be ready within a week or maximum 10 days and we will be able to start dumping waste there. The idea is not to burden the current landfill and to start a new site. So we have constructed a base to stop the leachate from spreading into the Aravallis,” he said.
Kumar said the two-acre land is also a part of the landfill but was lying in disuse. “In the absence of an alternative site to divert daily waste, we will use this site and waste will be processed by the four agencies that have set up their machineries. Diverting daily waste to these two acres, located behind the existing landfill, will give the firms more space for legacy waste treatment,” he said.
MCG officials said the processing site identified in Pali, which is spread over 52 acres, is not yet ready for waste disposal.
For processing the waste generated in the city daily, MCG had set up material recovery facilities (MRFs) at Beri Bagh, Badshapur, Sector 44 and Darbaripur. Operations at the Ullawas and South City-2 MRFs were suspended after protests by residents, said officials.
Mahesh Dayma, councillor of ward 30, said they are against the MRF centre in the village as the composting pits are being built in the open which will inevitably lead to a foul smell permeating the area. “The MRF centres should be away from population but this one is in close proximity to houses and could lead to health issues in people living there. Apart from the smell, the compost pit has become a breeding ground for pathogens and diseases,” he said.
Gurugram generates 1,300 tonnes of garbage daily, most of which is sent to Bandhwari, whereas Faridabad transports around 1,000 tonnes of waste daily to the landfill, said MCG officials.
Vaishali Chandra Rana, a city-based environmentalist, said they went to the district forest officer on Friday and two forest offence reports have been issued for illegal felling of trees and one approximately ₹50 lakh for illegal encroachment on the adjoining revenue raasta (legal way) leading into the forest.
“The access to the forest has been cut off by MCG by occupying the revenue raasta totally. We have demanded that the DFO lodge an FIR against MCG officials for these illegal activities in the forest, which are in violation of Forest Act. Secondly, no demarcation has been carried out by MCG to designate the claimed 30 acre area of the landfill. In all probability, they are already occupying more than 30 acres in the Aravallis, keeping in mind the whole revenue raasta (about 60 feet wide and a kilometre long) has been usurped by MCG,” she said.
Rana said MCG is illegally levelling and expanding the landfill boundaries to encompass even a 2.5 acre watering hole. “That would mean the total decimation of the watering hole which is already contaminated by continuous discharge of leachate from the landfill,” she said.
Ruchika Sethi Takkar, founder member of ‘Why Waste Your Waste’, a civil society movement for zero waste, said rather than developing another site in the ecologically fragile zone, the municipality should develop infrastructure within the city to effectuate municipal ward level resource recovery plan. “That would help achieve almost 70-80% of waste processing within the city itself and meet the objectives of landfill diversion policy while being fully compliant with solid waste management rules of 2016 without causing damage to environment or health of residents,” she said.