South corporation finally stops dumping at saturated Okhla landfill

Of the 3,500 tonnes of waste collected from south Delhi everyday, the civic agency dumped around 1,200 tonnes at the Okhla landfill. The site was declared as exhausted way back in 2010.
Of the 3,500 tonnes of waste collected from south Delhi everyday, the civic agency dumped around 1,200 tonnes at the Okhla landfill. The site was declared as exhausted way back in 2010.
Of the 3,500 tonnes of waste collected from south Delhi everyday, the civic agency dumped around 1,200 tonnes at the Okhla landfill. The site was declared as exhausted way back in 2010.
Published on Mar 11, 2018 11:39 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Eight years after the Okhla landfill exhausted its life span, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation stopped dumping garbage there last month.

Of the 3,500 tonnes of waste collected from south Delhi everyday, the civic agency dumped around 1,200 tonnes at the Okhla landfill. The site was declared as exhausted way back in 2010.

Corporation officials said the waste is now being dumped at a nearby 14.2-acre plot transferred from the Cement Corporation of India (CCI) in 2016-17.

“We took the decision to avoid a repeat of last year’s cave-in at Ghazipur. The site was established in 1996 and its height continued to rise because of the huge volume of unprocessed municipal solid waste,” Kamaljeet Sehrawat, SDMC mayor, said.

At 55 metres, its height is almost thrice the permissible limit, a south Delhi MCD official said.

The civic agency now aims to complete the remediation of the Okhla landfill within one-and-a-half years to convert it into a green cover. “We have already started work to stabilise the slope in the Okhla landfill in consultation with a retired professor from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The exercise will be completed till August, when the chances of cave-in are high,” Sehrawat said.

After the completion of the sloping process, SDMC will cover the landfill with a layer of clay soil, and then spread a waterproof liner to control seepage of fluid from the landfill into the ground, as per senior SDMC official.

Puneet Goel, commissioner, SDMC, said, “We will reduce the size of the landfill by half after it is closed. It will be capped scientifically by using a certain quantity of waste.”

For the collection of leachate (the liquid that comes out from a landfill) and methane gas emitted during the breakdown of organic matter at landfill, SDMC plans to insert pipes at various locations.

Dumping will continue at the14.2-acre plot until SDMC constructs its engineered landfill at Tehkand.

The civic body targets to complete the project in the next 18 months. “The Tehkhand landfill will be operational by next year-end. The 37-acre land was allocated by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to SDMC in 2016 and the civic agency also plans to develop a waste-to-energy plant here,” said SDMC official.

North Corporation’s plan

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has also issued a tender for hiring a consultant to submit a study on remediation of the Bhalswa landfill. “We are closely monitoring day-to-day activities, but a decision has been taken to hire a consultant who would suggest stabilisation measures for the landfill,” North Corporation official said.

Delhi’s landfills

Delhi produces 10,000 tonne of garbage every day.

2,500 tonne generated from east Delhi goes to Ghazipur landfill and waste-energy plant

Half of 4,000 tonnes generated by North goes to the Bhalswa landfill, rest to Narela-Bawana WTE plant.

3,500 tonnes generated in south Delhi sent to Okhla landfill and WTE plant.

All three landfills exhausted their lifespan in 2010 and 2002 (for east and north), respectively.

On September 1, a portion of Ghazipur landfill collapsed, killing two people in the incident.

After this, dumping was stopped at all three landfills on the direction of Lieutenant Governor. But, failing to find alternative sites to dump garbage, North and East Corporation again started using these landfills.

The South Corporation, however, managed to get 37 acre land in Tehkand from DDA and 14.2 acre land from Cement Corporation of India in Okhla (adjacent to Ghazipur landfill). It prepared a detailed plant to develop Okhla in green cover and now it is implemented.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    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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