SDMC wants to dump landfill inerts in Bhatti mines, writes forest deptUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 00:04 IST
Pursuing its proposal to dump inert waste mined from Delhi’s three landfills -- Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur -- in the Asola Bhatti mines, the South Municipal Corporation of Delhi (SDMC) has written to the Ridge Management Board (RMB) to allow it to use the pits for “non-forestry activity.”
A letter has been sent to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Delhi Government), Ishwar Singh, who is also Member Secretary of RMB, on November 4 last year to consider providing the deep hollows.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had refused to entertain this plea on October 21, saying SDMC should approach “more appropriate authorities.”
The three municipal corporations -- north, south and east, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board are all desperately looking for a large spot to unload “inert wastes like mud”, which are being produced as a by-product of biomining of the city’s three garbage mountains.
At least five trommels (large cylindrical machines that mechanically segregate waste into sand, plastics, metals, etc.) are currently working at the Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur trash hills as per orders of the NGT.
They have already biomined several hundred tonnes of waste and the civic bodies “need space to keep the segregated waste material,” a senior SDMC officer said.
“The four pits we seek -- numbered 2, 6, 10 and 12 -- are 30 metres deep while the three landfills currently hold 280 lakh metric tonnes of rotting waste in total. We need that large a space,” said a senior SDMC official. SDMC is acting as the nodal agency for all the Delhi municipalities on this issue.
The Bhatti mines is a notified ‘wildlife sanctuary’, which comes under the ‘south leg’ of Delhi’s ridge. Hence permission has to be sought from RMB and even the union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) and National Board for Wildlife (NBW) “which will be a very long haul, at least three years,” an officer said.
Importantly, the corporation is also eyeing the land on which the Badarpur thermal plant once stood, to tip the waste. It was closed some time back due to air pollution concerns. “A letter has been shot to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) asking if we can use the 1,300 hectares which currently holds only thermal ash,” the officer said.