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Gurgaon chokes in absence of waste disposal system

Unchecked waste burning in the open and dumping of construction and demolition waste are to blame for the soaring pollution levels in the city

gurgaon Updated: Nov 10, 2017 21:42 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hinndustan Times
Poor air quality,AQI,air pollution
Construction and demolition waste dumped in Gurgaon’s Sector 62.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

At a time when Gurgaon’s air quality has been dropping to alarming levels, the lack of a proper mechanism or system for disposal of the city’s solid waste has evoked fresh concern among residents.

Unchecked waste burning in the open and random dumping of construction and demolition (C&D) waste have been largely blamed for the city’s rising pollution levels.

With winter at the city’s door, the air quality has been marked as ‘severe’ over the last few days. The city’s air quality index (AQI) hit 485 on Friday, marginally down from 494 on Thursday.

Thursday’s AQI count marked a significant increase from Wednesday’s 459.

City civic bodies are yet to take any step towards setting up a dedicated C&D waste plant in the city or revive the Bandhwari waste treatment plant in the eco-sensitive Aravalli region, which has been lying defunct for the last four years.

According to officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), the city generates approximately 600 tonnes of solid waste every day. They said the volume of waste goes up by a further 15% per annum due to rapid urbanisation and infrastructure development.

A further 700 tonnes of unprocessed solid waste ends up at the defunct Bandhwari unit every day. As per studies conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), open burning of solid waste emits pollutants, including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) and dioxins.

Residents said although they have been vocal against the dumping of C&D waste and open burning of garbage across the city, authorities have done little to curb either.

Read I Gurgaon: Defunct Bandhwari waste treatment plant to resume operations within a week

“I have been tracking waste burning incidents in the city and have even sent enough proof to the authorities in the hope that they will act. We are being denied the right to breathe clean air,” Sachin Paramar, a resident of Sector 46, said.

Sherebanu Frosh, who lives in an apartment on Golf Course Road, said, “Waste burning and dumping of construction-and-demolition waste are often seen along the Golf Course Road. Even our children are forced to play around mounds of dust. This is a cause for concern.”

However, MCG officials said both the projects—C&D waste treatment plant and revival of the Bandhawari plant—are under process.

“We will soon resume operations at the Bandhwari plant. All procedures for re-opening the plant are being taken care of. The proposed C&D plant at Basai has been on hold because of a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). We cannot initiate the process of setting up the plant till the legal issue over land is resolved. The C&D plant will rid the city of rampant dumping of construction waste,” MCG senior town planner Sudhir Chauhan said.


Bandhwari waste treatment plant

The Bandhwari waste management plant, Gurgaon and Faridabad’s only waste management plant which has been lying defunct for the past four years, is expected to become operational in two years. The Rs330crore-plant would have the capacity to generate 10MW power per day. An agreement to develop the plant was signed between Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Municipal Corporation of Faridabad and the Ecogreen Energy Pvt Limited in August, 2017.

Basai C&D plant

Gurgaon’s first construction-and-demolition waste treatment plant, that was set to be built in Basai on 3.5 acres of land, is stuck in the National Green Tribunal. The green body is hearing a plea asking the project be stopped as it would deteriorate the condition of the ecologically fragile Basai wetlands. The proposed project would have a capacity to process 500 tonnes of waste a day.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 21:42 IST