Ghazipur landfill collapse: NGT issues show cause notices to Delhi govt, civic body
Two people were killed when a portion of the waste dump, estimated to be as high as a 15-storey building, collapsed on a road connecting Ghaziabad with Noida on Friday.delhi Updated: Sep 04, 2017 23:43 IST
The National Green Tribunal on Friday pulled up the Delhi government, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and two other agencies over the Ghazipur landfill collapse, stating that nothing can be more humiliating than being buried alive under tonnes of garbage.
Two people were killed when a portion of the waste dump, estimated to be as high as a 15-storey building, collapsed on a road connecting Ghaziabad with Noida on Friday.
The green court then issued show cause notices, asking why punitive action must not be taken against the Delhi government and criminal proceedings initiated against civic body officials in this regard. “Why did you not carry out directions issued by the tribunal time and again? Are the people of Delhi expected to meet this fate? Are they supposed to die under a garbage dump? We had asked you to reduce the height of the dump and take appropriate measures to reduce waste,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said, observing that no “collective” steps were taken to ensure that the garbage was “processed, segregated and compressed”.
The bench – also comprising Justice RS Rathore – said it was unfortunate that residents of the country’s capital have to die because of “improper, unscientific and indiscriminate” dumping of solid waste at the site. “You are killing people under garbage. It cannot get any more humiliating (than this),” it added.
The tribunal then asked why compensation should not be awarded to the relatives of those who died in the landfill collapse due to “sheer negligence”, before posting the matter for further hearing on September 12.
EDMC counsel Balendu Shekhar said the corporation had already moved a plea seeking allotment of land to develop sanitary landfills meant for handling municipal solid waste. There was an immediate requirement for alternative land because the Ghazipur landfill site – which handles 13 metric tonnes of waste every day – is no longer sufficient for the purpose, he added.
The tribunal also issued similar notices to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in this connection. While the NHAI was slammed for not “lifting segregated waste” despite specific directives, the bench asked the DDA to explain why appropriate landfill sites were not allotted to the city’s civic bodies for the purpose.
The green tribunal gave all the municipal corporations concerned a week’s time to submit an action plan charting immediate steps for restoring landfill sites across the city.
Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal imposed a ban on dumping at the Ghazipur landfill site soon after the incident. The garbage is now being diverted to a temporary site at Ranikhera, near the Delhi-Haryana border.