New Delhi: The city may be in the grip of air pollution emergency, but landfill sites such as Bhalswa continue to spew toxic smoke, says the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The CPCB is likely to issue show-cause notice to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in light of the situation, a senior official of the apex pollution control regulator said. The decision was taken following an inspection by a CPCB team to check the status of implementation of a ban on garbage burning at the landfill sites of the city, almost all of which have outlived their utility. “The team reported fire at the Bhalswa landfill site. Our teams will also inspect the other landfill sites such as Ghazipur,” the official, who wished anonymity, said. When contacted, an official spokesperson of the North Delhi civic body, which administers the landfill site, said, “We take all measures, whenever a fire is reported in the landfill, to keep it under check.”
A fire may sometimes occur due to a natural cause or if someone drops a cigarette or beedi. Whenever needed, we even send fire tenders as and when required, he said.
Delhi produces over 8,500 metric tons per day (MTD) of solid waste, but all the three of its dumping grounds, with a collective capacity of 4,600 MTD, are operating beyond their saturation point, at the “risk of human lives”, according to official documents.
Ghazipur and the two other landfill sites, Bhalswa and Okhla, commissioned in 1994 and 1996 respectively, were not designed as per the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, nor do they have authorisation from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
But the civic bodies argue that they have “no other option” but to use these sites and they are being “continued at the risk of human life”, according to the economic survey report.