EDMC gets DDA nod for dump site at Ghonda Gujran, greens protest

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday allocated it a 42.5-acre plot in Ghonda Gujran, northeast Delhi -- about 2.5 km from the Yamuna River line.
The site for a dump yard in Ghonda Gujran was proposed after tonnes of garbage came hurtling down at the Ghazipur landfill in September, killing two people.(HT Archives)
The site for a dump yard in Ghonda Gujran was proposed after tonnes of garbage came hurtling down at the Ghazipur landfill in September, killing two people.(HT Archives)
Published on Mar 27, 2019 05:59 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByBaishali Adak

Desperate to close its saturated Ghazipur landfill, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has got an alternative site to dump its mixed waste.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday allocated it a 42.5-acre plot in Ghonda Gujran, northeast Delhi -- about 2.5 km from the Yamuna River line.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) had already cleared the site as “suitable for waste management use” in March 2018, after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a check.

Environmentalist Manoj Misra and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Dilip Pandey had petitioned the court against the allocation. Mishra had contended that as per NGT’s ‘Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna’ judgment of 2017 and the CR Babu Committee report, this site is earmarked for “wetlands” only.

Dilip Pandey, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from northeast Delhi as an AAP candidate this April, had flagged the health concerns of the neighbourhood’s residents.

Pradeep Khandelwal, EDMC chief engineer, said, “We are relieved that after a long legal battle, we have finally got the site. First, as opposed to the wrong impressions created against us, we are setting up an ‘Integrated Waste Management Facility’, which will include a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant, a biomethanation plant and a C&D debris processing facility.”

“This will be on the lines of the north municipal corporation’s Narela-Bawana engineered landfill site and not an open garbage dumping ground. No trash will be visible and there will be no stench,” Khandelwal said.

After DDA hands over possession to EDMC, tenders would be floated to set up the infrastructure and it should be functional in two years’ time, he said.

The EDMC has been desperate to find an alternative site after a portion of the saturated Ghazipur landfill collapsed and killed two persons after sweeping them into the nearby Kondli drain in 2017.

The 70-acre landfill, set up in 1984, completed its shelf life in 2000. But due to lack of alternative sites, EDMC continues to dump waste here. East Delhi generates 2,500 metric tonnes of waste every day.

Voices of protest, though, have already arisen even before DDA can formally hand over the site.

Congress leader Mudit Aggrawal, who had earlier resisted the proposal, said, “We have come to know of it and already preparing a fast-unto-death. How can it be that they bring tonnes of waste here, unload it and there is no pollution? We will not allow it to poison the lives of people.”

AAP councillor from the area, Shridutt Sharma, said, “People still draw water from bore wells here. If it spoils our groundwater, what will we do?”

Convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, Manoj Misra, who had petitioned the NGT earlier, said, “We maintain even now that this is within the ‘100 year Yamuna floodplain line.’ It was under deep water in 2008, 2010 and even 2013. How can they even consider this site for garbage management?”

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