Ghazipur Dumping Ground: Who can shift Ghazipur’s mounds?

In the previous month, three fires have been reported at the Ghazipur dump, although the clearance procedure is still far from sufficient.

According to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), 10 lakh metric tonnes of rubbish have been handled so far, with another 140 lakh metric tonnes dumped at the site.

The Ghazipur dump, according to former and current EDMC officials, is still a major source of concern. Every day, 2,500 metric tonnes of garbage are added to the “mountains of refuse” in Ghazipur, and the civic authority struggles to raise it for daily cleaning.

The city government has directed civic bodies and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to adopt the gas sucking system installed at a dumping site in Mumbai as a measure to deal with the frequent fires caused by the continuous emission of methane at the landfill site, according to Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai.

Separation of waste

The EDMC reports that eight high-speed trommel machines were recently added to sort the garbage, bringing the total number of units at the facility to 26. The goal of the trommel machines, which were installed in 2019, is undermined, according to a former municipal official, because the segregated garbage remains untouched at the site.

“The issue is not the number of trommel machines; it is a system breakdown,” he explained. The bigger difficulty is where to dispose of the garbage. “There is no room, and no one is willing to move the trash.” In addition, there are some limitations in terms of mounting the equipment,” he explained.

Combustibles, building and demolition waste, and inerts are the three types of garbage. The waste-to-energy power plant at Ghazipur, which is part of a deal between three parties — a private company called IL and FS, the Delhi government’s Power Department, and the EDMC — has been out of commission for months, adding to the trash problem. Officials from the EDMC claim that the Power Department refuses to cooperate.

Insufficient political will towards Ghazipur’s Mound

The Hindu enquired of EDMC officials about the landfill’s height, which was last estimated at 65 meters. It has been shortened by “12 to 15 meters at various portions,” according to an official. “It’s tough because we can’t say the height has been equally reduced by 12-15 meters,” he said, adding that the slow pace of the landfill’s cleaning work is partially due to a lack of political will.

“Councilors prefer to focus on issues that demand speedy fixes, whereas mayors focus on issues that provide them with immediate electoral rewards.” They are well aware that cleaning Ghazipur is a lengthy process that is only discussed when a disaster occurs,” the official said.

EDMC Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal (BJP) did not react to The Hindu’s questions on the crucial issues raised by the authorities, while AAP’s MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak denied the claim that the waste-to-energy plant was shut down due to the Power Department’s lack of cooperation.

According to Mr. Pathak, the private companies went bankrupt owing to financial mismanagement, and the plant’s equipment was unfit for use. “The owner has changed, and the equipment is undergoing renovations.” He stated, “The government has no part in this; our duty is to obtain electricity.” 

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