Firefighters and excavators try to douse fire as smoke billows from burning garbage at the Ghazipur landfill site in New Delhi.(REUTERS)
Firefighters and excavators try to douse fire as smoke billows from burning garbage at the Ghazipur landfill site in New Delhi.(REUTERS)

Fire erupts at Ghazipur landfill

Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said the fire was reported at 9.56pm on Tuesday, but because of the intensity and the large area it took longer for the firemen to douse the blaze.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 06:44 AM IST

Even as the national capital gasped for breath, with its overall air quality slipping into the severe category, a fire broke out at Delhi’s largest landfill at Ghazipur on Tuesday. According to fire officials, efforts to completely douse the blaze were on till late evening.

Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said the fire was reported at 9.56pm on Tuesday, but because of the intensity and the large area it took longer for the firemen to douse the blaze.

“Initially, nine fire tenders were pressed into action, but by afternoon, two more tenders were sent. Unlike a regular blaze, fires in garbage piles react in a different way because of the variety of waste dumped there. The chemicals that are released by the decomposition of garbage also aggravate the blaze,” a senior fire official said.

The official said that by 3pm, the fire was contained but smoke continued rise from the landfill. DFS teams were present at the landfill site till at least 7pm to check if the fire begins again and to initiate the cooling process.

An East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) spokesperson said that the fire broke out from the outer edge of the landfill, where fresh garbage was being dumped on the Tuesday night.

“Soon the fire spread towards the outer periphery of the garbage, in front of waste-to-energy plant. All EDMC field officials are present at site and trying to control the situation. The fire has been controlled with the help of available machines and fire tenders. However, smoke is still rising at site and small fires are erupting. We are keeping an eye on that,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the BJP-ruled EDMC had started the fire deliberately to malign the party’s government in Delhi.

AAP in-charge of the municipal corporations, Durgesh Pathak on Wednesday alleged that “the BJP had lighted a fire on the Ghazipur landfill to defame Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal”.

“People and choking on the smoke from the fire and the BJP leaders are playing with the lives of people by burning the garbage mountain. AAP demands a fair investigation into the incident and strict action should be taken against the culprits,” Pathak said.

Responding to Pathak’s allegations, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said that AAP leaders are known for the “politics of accusations”.

“The Aam Aadmi Party leaders cannot tolerate the well being of Delhiites, so the party has set fire to the Ghazipur landfill and put the lives of people at risk, nothing can be more shameful than this. In the last six years, CM (Arvind) Kejriwal has not visited Ghazipur landfill even once and when BJP MP Gautam Gambhir is working on the ground, Kejriwal and his ministers are doing nothing more than creating chaos and fear among the public,” Gupta alleged.

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