Another Ghazipur waiting to happen at Bandhwari waste treatment plant, say Gurgaon villagers
Despite being shut after a fire incident in 2013, tonnes of waste are dumped at the defunct site every dayUpdated: Sep 02, 2017 22:18 IST
Day after a mountain of trash collapsed at Delhi’s landfill site at Ghazipur, killing two, residents of Gurgaon and Faridabad voiced alarm over the hazards posed by the defunct Bandhwari waste treatment plant which they claimed is already starting to take its toll in the area.
Residents of Ghata, Gwal Pahari and Pali villages alleged that toxic gases emitted by the Bhandhwari plant is polluting the air and water in the area, thereby, impacting their health.
The plant shut down after a fire incident and though it has been non-functional ever since, tonnes and tonnes of waste from across the city are dumped at the site every day, driving pollution fears.
Though nearby residents have been living in fear of implications of the defunct waste plant for the last four years, the Ghazipur incident has stoked fresh concern.
“We are suffering, as every day more than 1,000 tonne of waste is being dumped at the site and is not processed. The stench from the garbage pile fills the air and drives pollution levels as well. Many villagers are already suffering from respiratory diseases and many more are at risk of falling ill,” Sushil Bhadana, a resident of Pali village, Faridabad, said.
On Saturday, HT visited the site and found a waste pile standing 60ft tall and posing a threat to the eco-sensitive Aravalli region. Anyone motoring on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway has to drive past the defunct plant and suffer the nauseating stench.
The plant was set up in 2007 and went into operation in 2008. It shut down after a fire broke out in 2013.
Mohit Singh, a resident of Mohabatabad village in Faridabad, said, “People living in nearby villages have even stopped accepting marriage proposals from Bandhwari fearing health hazards. The groundwater is not fit for consumption or even household and the same is starting to impact our daily lives. Leachate from the waste treatment plant has contaminated the groundwater.”
Prakash Singh, a resident of Gwal Pahari, said, “The government is not showing any interest in resolving our issues. They are waiting for a disaster to happen. This area is a critical groundwater zone and any contamination will soon impact Gurgaon and Delhi. We had moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the issue of groundwater contamination in the area because of the plant, but we are yet to see any action on the same.”
In 2016, Hindustan Times carried a report saying that contaminated water, leaking out of the defunct waste treatment plant, was settling into a pond nearby. Taking cognisance of the report, the green panel had asked the civic body to get the water samples from neighbouring areas tested.
Last year in September, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) revealed that the water samples it collected from the pond near the Bhandwari plant was found to be contaminated and the levels of harmful chemicals were found to be above the permissible limit and rendered unfit for drinking.
The matter is in the NGT and there has been little or no progress on it over the last few years, villagers said.
Delhi: Dera village and neighbouring farmhouse belt
Gurgaon: DLF phases 1 and 5, Golf Course Extension Road
Faridabad: Bandhwari, Mangar, Kot, Baliawas, Pali and other villages
Mangar Bani sacred grove in Faridabad and adjoining Aravalli forest areas
Catchment of several lakes including Badhkal, Surajkund, Peacock and Dhauj lakes