Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Delhi's Landfills Overflowing with a Looming Threat to Burn and Pollute

Delhi faces the threat of a major fire tragedy and consequent rise in pollution like after the Deonar fire in Mumbai which enveloped the city in thick smoke last week.

The presence of three landfill sites in the city - Bhalswa (in the northwest), Okhla (southeast) and Ghazipur (east) is primarily responsible for it. The landfill sites catch fire during summers and often rag pickers set them ablaze. Together, the three sites occupy close to 150 acres of land - twice the size of the Vatican City. They receive about 9,000 metric tonnes of garbage a day and stand at close to 25 metres each - about the height of a 10-storey building. All of them reached their retirement age around 2006 and should have been 'capped and reclaimed'. However, for the lack of land, Delhi's municipal corporations continue to use them. The landfills leach toxic juices into the ground and are perennially ablaze.

"There are small fires burning on the hill top always. It's because filth is rotting inside in layers. During summers, when the temperature is especially high, methane gas is generated. When it comes in contact with air, fire erupts," explained Shashi Bhushan Pandit, who works with rag pickers at these sites.

Read more @ Mail Today

No comments: