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Delhi Environment Minister Directs Departments To Take Steps To Prevent Fire Incidents At Landfill Sites

According to experts, organic waste dumped in a landfill produces methane when it rots. In hot weather conditions, methane catches fire spontaneously and the blaze spreads as it feeds on combustible material, such as textiles and plastic

Ghazipur dumpsite is one of the three dumpsites in Delhi [Representational Image]

New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai directed the departments concerned on Tuesday to take immediate steps to prevent fires at the landfill sites in the city. A day after a fire broke out at the Ghazipur landfill, the minister said the city government is committed to preventing such incidents in the future. A statement quoted the minister saying,

Fires are reported from landfill sites in Delhi during the summer season every year. Following the recent incident at the Ghazipur landfill site, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Fire Services have been instructed to strictly adhere to the existing norms and instructions to prevent and manage such incidents. The aim is to avert the occurrence of such fires and take prompt action to extinguish them if they do occur

According to experts, organic waste dumped in a landfill produces methane when it rots. In hot weather conditions, methane catches fire spontaneously and the blaze spreads as it feeds on combustible material, such as textiles and plastic. Minister Gopal Rai said,

A standard operating procedure has been developed to prevent such fire incidents. To ensure a strict implementation of this SOP, all departments concerned have been instructed to maintain a 24×7 vigilance

Also Read: The Human And Health Cost Of Delhi’s Garbage Mountains And Waste Crisis

Measures taken by the city government to prevent fires at the landfill sites include deployment of personnel, fire tenders and CCTV cameras, a ban on the entry of unauthorised persons and rag-pickers, monitoring of the sub-surface temperature and declaring the area a no-smoking zone.

Minister Rai launched a nine-point action plan last year to prevent incidents of fire at the landfill sites. The plan involved the construction of a peripheral road around the dumpyards to facilitate the movement of vehicles, patrolling teams and fire tenders and a four-metre-high boundary wall with barbed-wire fencing to prevent unauthorised entry into the sites.

Under the plan, the MCD has been directed to involve an agency for the segregation of the waste being dumped at the landfill sites to prevent the unauthorised entry of rag-pickers.

Perforated high-density polyethylene pipes will be installed to prevent the accumulation of the highly-flammable gas and a dedicated surveillance squad will keep a strict vigil over the activities going on at the dumping sites.

Also Read: Garbage Mountains – Dotting The Landscape Of Delhi

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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