New Delhi: A fire broke out at the Okhla landfill site in south Delhi on May 23, a Delhi Fire Service official said. The incident was reported at 12.43 pm after which eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was doused by 5.15 pm, the official said. The massive dump in south Delhi was commissioned in 1996.
In south Delhi, 3,500 Metric Tonnes of waste is generated daily. And, 56 per cent of the solid waste is processed. The Okhla site has not only become an eyesore but, many of the garbage truck drivers have lost lives, over the last few years, according to a senior South Delhi Municipal Corporation official.
The city has two other landfill sites, Ghazipur in east Delhi and Bhalswa in north Delhi, both commissioned in 1984.
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Environmentalist Anumita Roychowdhury said such landfill site are not only a threat from fire incidents but also from the pollution perspective. “Spontaneous fire at these sites keep happening, small or big. But, the burning also produces noxious gases and therefore that is another health risk,” she said.
But, more than managing these landfill sites, our policies should be, as globally is being done, is to go for a zero landfill policy and, instead recover and recycle and contribute to the circular economy, said Ms Roychowdhury, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Centre For Science and Environment (CSE) here.
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Incidentally, both the South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations have joined hands with experts from IIT-Delhi to stabilise the landfill sites in their areas.
“We need to go for systemic solutions instead of just symptomatic solutions,” Ms Roychowdhury said.
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