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