Gurugram: Officials meet Bandhwari villagers with health problems

Day before chief minister’s two-day visit to city, district administration officials visited the site to collect groundwater samples and to speak to locals who have been facing health problems. Residents have been trying hard to have the plant shifted and are mulling a peaceful protest during CM’s visit to the plant on Friday.
MCG chief medical officer Dr Asrudin speaks with villagers living near the Bandhwari waste treatment. The visit comes a day before the chief minister is due to visit the site. Villagers have planned a protest to draw CM’s attention to the health problems they are facing.
MCG chief medical officer Dr Asrudin speaks with villagers living near the Bandhwari waste treatment. The visit comes a day before the chief minister is due to visit the site. Villagers have planned a protest to draw CM’s attention to the health problems they are facing.
Published on Apr 11, 2018 11:39 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Gurugram

Two days before the scheduled visit of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to lay the foundation stone of the proposed waste-to-energy plant at Bandhwari, a team of district administration officials visited the site on Wednesday.

They were there to collect groundwater samples and to speak to locals who have been facing health problems.

The solid waste treatment plant at Bandhwari has been a serious health hazard since its inception in 2009-10.

The residents of nearby villages such as Baliyawas, Gwal Pahari, Mandi and others, have been complaining of bad groundwater, air and soil.

The residents are worried because the untreated waste dump has been polluting ground water, air and soil, and affecting nearby villages.

Karam Singh Tanwar, a resident of Gwal Pahari, said, “My wife died of cancer three years ago. I wanted to show the team all her medical papers, but they refused to visit my home. I live nearly three kilometres from the plant.The water and air have gotten worse. I am dead against this waste plant and will continue to raise my voice. Three people have died of cancer in the past two years in Bandhwari and Gwal Pahari.”

“In my village, more than 150 people have died of various diseases in the past five years and we feel this happened due to the adverse impact of the waste plant. But despite our attempts, the Haryana government has not addressed our grievances,” said Rajaram, a former sarpanch of Bandhwari village.

Dr Asrudin, chief medical officer, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG),who led the team to Bandhwari, said, “We met some residents with health complaints — mainly cancer. We visited because there were some media reports which stated that cancer and other health concerns in the area were due to the waste plant spreading pollution here. However, we do not find it appropriate to connect these health issues with the waste dumping site at all.”

Residents have been trying hard to have the plant shifted and are mulling a peaceful protest during the CM’s visit on Friday.

Vivek Kamboj, an environmentalist, said, “We have submitted all reports of contaminated groundwater to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The groundwater is very bad and is getting worse everyday due to waste dumping in the Aravalli hills. The Haryana government has turned a blind eye to our concerns, while people are falling ill in nearby villages.”

The MCG has hired Ecogreen, a private company, to treat waste and produce energy.

Bandhwari gets more than 1200MT of waste from Gurugram and Faridabad. Already, 25,000 to 30,000MT of untreated waste has been lying at the plant since November 2013, after the Haryana government terminated the services of the old contractor.

Fact File on Bandhwari waste plant:

  • Around 1,000 tonnes of solid waste from Gurugram and Faridabad are dumped daily at the Bandhwari plant.
  • 700-800 tonnes of waste is generated daily in Gurugram
  • 200-300 tonnes of waste is generated daily in Faridabad
  • Before it shut down in 2013, the Bandhwari plant had the capacity to process 600 tonnes of solid waste
  • The plant was made operational in January 2010
  • As many as five fire incidents were reported at the plant before it closed down on October 26, 2013.
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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Dhananjay Jha writes on development authorities, transport, industries, power and other developmental issues in Gurgaon. A journalist for over a decade, he has worked in Delhi and in HT’s Noida bureau.

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