After Ghazipur incident, SDMC plans to shut Okhla landfill, north to revisit reclamation plan

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Sep 03, 2017 12:13 AM IST

North Delhi mayor Preety Agarwal has also sought a status report from the municipal commissioner about the condition of Bhalswa landfill site.

Learning lessons from the Ghazipur incident, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has decided to shut down its Okhla landfill in the next two months. The Okhla site exhausted its life span in 2010, but in the absence of an alternative, dumping continued here.

The Okhla plant.
The Okhla plant.

“We are closely monitoring the day to day activity at the landfill, but a decision has been taken to close this site now. We will dumped the garbage at the newly allocated site at Tehkhand, near Okhla, in future,” SDMC commissioner Puneet Goel said. The site was allocated by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to SDMC last year and civic agency also plans to develop a waste to energy plant here.

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Goel said that the corporation will simultaneously start the process for remediation of Okhla landfill, after two months. “We will bring down the height of the landfill from 55 metre to half. However, it is impossible to reclaim the whole place,” he added.

Meanwhile, North Delhi mayor Preety Agarwal has also sought a status report from the municipal commissioner about the condition of Bhalswa landfill site. “There is no denying that Bhalswa landfill under NDMC is under a similar threat. Therefore, I have directed the authorities to take immediate measures such as regular pressing of garbage. The department of environment management service has also been asked to submit a report on the condition of this place. I will visit the site next week,”she said.

“We will also discuss the reason for non-implementation of plans approved to reclaim the site and look for a permanent solution,” she said.


After L-G’s order to discontinue dumping at Ghazipur, AAP called a press conference and blamed the BJP-ruled MCD for the Ghazipur mishap. AAP leaders claimed that despite crossing the height of 45 metre, BJP-ruled MCD continued to dump garbage there.

“Unfortunately, even after the Ghazipur incident, BJP is not in a mood to leave its dirty politics and is trying to push off its failures on Delhi government. Three years back, Delhi High Court had instructed the Central government-run DDA to transfer alternative site for landfill to MCD. But they were interested in violating all norms and transferring land for a minister’s factory,” AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said.

The party said that DDA and MCD should work together to finalise a new garbage dumping site in the city at the earliest. “Shifting garbage from one landfill to another does not improve the situation,” Pandey said.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said that Delhi government must also come on board to solve Delhi’s overflowing garbage woes. “All departments of Delhi government such as Delhi pollution control committee and environment department are responsible for ensuring that norms are being followed and the sites are run without violation of norms. Even if new sites are identified for landfill, it should be ensure that all precautionary measures are taken here right from beginning so that the residents won’t suffer unnecessarily later on,” Tiwari said.

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    Vibha Sharma covers municipal bodies in Delhi. A journalist for almost a decade, she has also worked for the hyper-local editions of Hindustan Times, covering civic concerns in south Delhi, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad.

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