Delhi needs an urgent solution to its waste disposal problem
- by Saher-Hiba-Khan-
- Jun 12, 2019 13:42
The Ghazipur Landfill which got operational in 1984 is being woefully given the sobriquet 'Mount Everest of Trash'. It is spread over an area of 29 acres and is almost the size of 40 football fields put together. The landfill is currently only 17 feet short of Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret and could grow taller by 2020, if it continues to rise at the same rate. It had already reached its maximum capacity in 2002, however, hundreds of trucks still arrive with about 2000 tonnes of garbage adding to its already exceeding size.
On 1st Sept, 2017 a large portion of the Ghazipur Dumpsite had collapsed due to heavy rain leaving 2 people dead. Dumping was temporarily banned in 2018 though it was reopened after a matter of days when authorities couldn’t find an alternative. The Average span of a landfill is said to be 20-25 years but the Ghazipur Landfill completed its Silver Jubilee ten years ago. A report by a non-profit organisation, Centre for Service and Environment, had claimed that close to 4.74 million tonnes of garbage is lying at Ghazipur Landfill. The overflowing heap of garbage is also having a negative impact on the lives of more than 30 lakh people living within 10 km area of the landfill. Many locals complain of breathing difficulties, stomach problems etc.
The truck drivers who are employed to dispose garbage too complain of contracting diseases like tuberculosis. Methane gas fires are a very common occurrence at the dumpsite. Leachate, a black toxic liquid which also causes deathly diseases like Cancer, oozes from the mountain into a local canal. The landfill is polluting the local air, groundwater and poses a serious threat to 'Sanjay lake' which is 2.5 km away and the already dying 'Yamuna lake' which is almost 7 km away. With most countries adopting effective and efficient waste management system and declaring environmental degradation and climate change as a threat to human existence, we need to raise the question about the rising threat to the environment instead of breaking records by producing large garbage heaps.