Ex-Delhi HC Judge-led panel to look into Ghazipur landfill fire

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‘ The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a joint committee headed by Justice S.P. Garg, former Judge of the Delhi High Court, to look into the matter concerning a fire incident at the dumping yard at Ghazipur in east Delhi earlier this week, less than a month after a blaze was reported at the same spot on March 28.

The dumpsites in Delhi and in other cities are like time bombs because they constantly generate explosive gases like methane which may escape through vertical and lateral ways posing a constant threat of explosion, the tribunal said in its order on Friday.

The situation in Delhi may be more serious due to the size of the garbage dump and its location in a densely populated area.

This requires the constitution of a multi-department committee of concerned departments and responsible prompt action at higher levels of the administration, the NGT added.

“Accordingly, we constitute a joint committee headed by Justice S.P. Garg, former Judge, Delhi High Court with members from CPCB, DPCC, Department of Urban Development, Delhi, EDMC, Delhi Disaster Management Authority, and District Magistrate and DCP, East Delhi,” said the tribunal.

DPCC will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

Further, the green court asked the committee to hold its first meeting within one week, undertake a visit to the site, interact with stakeholders, ascertain the factual situation and suggest further course of action after interaction with the concerned stakeholders.

It may consider the landfill dump as an isolated and vulnerable site that requires on-site and off-site fire and other disaster management plans, it said.

The fire is emitting toxic smoke with the potential for airborne diseases in the densely populated area. This may call for a direction under Section 15(1) of the NGT Act to prevent any further harm to the public health and environment, the order read.

Expressing concern over the incident, the green court said such incidents are taking place elsewhere also and there is potential for the same wherever legacy waste remains unremediated.

It is for this reason that there is a statutory timeline expected to be followed strictly.

20220423-141154

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