As Ghazipur landfill shuts, Rani Khera new dumping site
All these years, staring at the poisonous mountain of trash was a part of life for residents of Gharoli, Khoda, Gharoli Extension, Kalyanpuri, Kaushambi, Ghazipur and Kondli.
It took the loss of two innocent lives for the residents living around the 33-year old Ghazipur landfill site to see a ray of hope for a better life.
From getting 3,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, the 50-metre-tall mountain of waste will for the first time on Sunday morning see no garbage dumping on it. On Saturday, the landfill received the least quantity of waste (around 100 tonnes) ever, according to East Delhi Municipal Corporation data.
“It is the beginning of the end of the Ghazipur landfill site. Friday’s incident was tragic, but it finally shook the administration that was in deep slumber until now. We hope our surroundings improve,” said Sayeeda Qazmi, a resident of Mulla Colony that overlooks the stinking landfill that had to be shut way back in 2002.
All these years, staring at the poisonous mountain of trash was a part of life for residents of Gharoli, Khoda, Gharoli Extension, Kalyanpuri, Kaushambi, Ghazipur and Kondli. “The authorities today told us that in two years, this ugly sight would go. If that’s true then we got our Eidi. This landfill has grown as I grew up,” said 23-year old Waseem Akhtar, who runs a tyre shop in the area.
Waste in Hindon
An internal inquiry of the EDMC found that around 8,000 metric tonnes of garbage came crashing down from the Ghazipur landfill and fell into the Hindon canal. The impact was such that the water from the Hindon canal swept a car and three bikes from the road into another canal that run parallel to the road.
“Since yesterday, over 80 trucks have already been used to clear the garbage that fell on the canal, the main road and the kachcha road (dirt road). It will take weeks to clear the entire impact area,” an EDMC official overseeing the incident told HT.
Preliminary probe has also revealed that a blast first occurred which trigerred a chunk of the mountain to crash. “Two to three days before the incident, the temperatures were high and then it rained making the garbage loose. Soon after there was sunshine, which must have heated the mound, resulting in the blast,” the official added.
On Saturday, teams of EDMC and Delhi Disaster Management Authority were working at the site to clear the impact area at the foot of the mountain. Four JCBs and four poplanes were pushed to clear the Hindon canal and the kachcha road. Vehicle movement was restricted where the garbage fell on Friday.
New dumping sites
After the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) on Saturday issued directives to immediately ban dumping of waste at the Ghazipur site, the EDMC, within hours, finalised that it would dispose its waste at a 50-acre site in Rani Khera located on the Delhi-Haryana border. The site was identified by the corporation at least two years ago, but waste disposal couldn’t begin because of the differences between the EDMC and the North DMC.
“It is a temporary arrangement until we get the 150 acre land in Ghonda for which a meeting has been called by the NGT-appointed committee at the Ministry of water resources,” EDMC commissioner Ranbir Singh told Hindustan Times. The 150-acre land in Ghonda is close to the river Yamuna.
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