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Wildlife department writes to MCG over spilling of leachate into the Aravallis

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram:
PUBLISHED ON AUG 13, 2020 11:13 PM IST

The district wildlife department earlier this week wrote to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram(MCG), warning against spillage of leachate from the Bandhwari landfill into the surrounding Aravalli forests. The department’s notice to the MCG — dated August 11, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times — urges the civic body and Ecogreen Energy, its concessionaire for waste management, to rectify the issue, failing which prosecution may be initiated as per the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

The notice also warns that the wildlife department’s no objection certificate (NOC), which had been granted for setting up a waste management plant at the site, also stands to be revoked in case of continued violations. Signed by R Dangi, district wildlife officer, Gurugram, the notice says, that the area is a well-known wildlife habitat, which is the home to leopards, hyenas, hedgehogs, monitor lizards, black partridges, peafowls, cobras, jackals and mongoose.

Ecogreen Energy, however, denied any wrongdoing on its part. In a response sent via a text message on Thursday evening, a company spokesperson, referring to a recent chemical analysis of leachate samples by the HSPCB, said, “Concerned department personnel visited the plant in the July and Aug, 2020. It appeared like a rainwater and was confirmed after conducting lab test. Bhandwari plant is designed and developed in such a way that no dirty water can go out (sic).”

However, after experts raised concerns over the integrity of these findings, fresh leachate samples collected from the landfill site last week have been sent for testing to the Haryana State Pollution Control Board’s headquarters in Panchkula last week, as well as to a private laboratory in Delhi. “The lab reports are expected in a day or two. We will share the results when we receive them,” said Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, Gururgam, HSPCB.

Rajesh, a junior engineer with the MCG who is currently overseeing day to day compliance at Bandhwari, said, “We have not let any leachate runoff happen this monsoon. We have built an elevation at the edge of the dump to keep leachate inside. Because of rains the water level inside the landfill is a little high, but we will also complete building the boundary wall soon, once the water level recedes. We have also lined the edges of the dump with an impermeable material so the leachate doesn’t seep into the ground.” Despite repeated attempts, HT was unable to reach Vinay Pratap Singh, commissioner, MCG, on Thursday.

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