Policy on landfill sites soon, says Environment Secretary

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The Union Environment Ministry will soon come up with a policy to manage the landfill sites in and around the national capital, a top government official said on Thursday.

Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra said the ministry was in talks with the stakeholders and officials over a policy on the landfill sites.

“Meetings are being held over (the issue of) landfill sites… A policy will be in place soon,” Mishra said here.

Delhi produces over 14,000 tonnes of solid waste every day.

Considered an embarrassment for the national capital, Delhi has four huge solid and municipal waste dumping yards, of which the three largest and oldest are un-engineered or unscientific, and therefore catch fire at times and contaminate ground water, besides occupying expensive land in the heart of commercially important locations of the city.

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According to the 2016 solid waste management rules, a landfill site must not exceed 20 meters in height, must not be older than 22-25 years and must have a clay-lining at the bottom to save the land and ground water.

However, the biggest and oldest of all the dumping sites in the national capital — Ghazipur landfill site — is still functional since 1984. This site in east Delhi was supposed to be shut in 2008 and holds 130 lakh tonnes of solid waste.

In September 2017, a small chunk of Ghazipur site fell on the road and into the Kondi canal that runs parallel, which killed two persons and posed a huge medical threat to the people living nearby.

According to the municipal engineers, the portion that fell was merely one per cent of the entire dumping yard.

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The others two un-engineered dumping grounds include Okhla site in south Delhi and Bhalaswa in north Delhi.

The fourth yard at Bawana is the only one that qualifies as a “landfill site”, since it is the only “engineered solid waste dumping and processing site” in the entire national capital.

–IANS

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