DDA ready to grant 2 sites for setting up waste plants, CPCB tells NGT
The Central Pollution Control Board told the National Green Tribunal that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had granted in-principle approval for the allotment of land at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran here for solid waste management facilities.
Both the sites fall in Zone-O (river and water-body area) where NGT had prohibited construction and said that any activity would require its prior sanction.
The apex pollution monitoring body told a bench headed by Acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim that based on a National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) report and its analysis, an area of 88 acres at Sonia Vihar and a 42.5-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran can be given to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for handling and processing waste.
The tribunal directed advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for the DDA, to file its response in a week on the issue and posted the matter for hearing on May 3.
The CPCB told the bench, “Competent authority DDA has approved, in principle, for allotment of land for solid waste management processing and disposal facilities at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran to EDMC subject to clearance by NGT and subject to the change of land use of the areas to the extent as may be cleared by NGT.”
The CPCB told the tribunal that the land at Sonia Vihar near a police firing range is part of 333.09 acres of land in possession of the Delhi Police as it was allotted this land for firing range (70 acres) and maintaining greenery on 263.09 acres.
With regard to the land at Ghonda Gujran, it said that out of 50 acres, only 42.4 acres of land is available and free from encroachment and litigation.
The EDMC had earlier moved the NGT seeking urgent direction to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to hand over a 130-acre piece of land at Sonia Vihar and a 50-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran for solid waste management facilities on a priority basis.
“The only available site in EDMC jurisdiction i.e., Ghazipur landfill site which was fully saturated way back in 2000 continues to get 1,600 metric tonnes of waste of Delhi on a daily basis even after 17 years of the scheduled closure.
“This is an alarming situation since the gases trapped in the site are a ticking time bomb, which, if an explosion takes place, will result in cataclysmic repercussion for the thousands of people who live in close proximity thereto,” the plea read.
Recently, deaths have occurred due to landslides at the landfill site, which has risen up to 65 metres, about 40 metres more than the permissible limit, it read.
The experts consulted in this regard, including Manoj Dutta from IIT Delhi, have clearly stated that no reparation work on the site is possible, if continued dumping occurs, the plea added.
“The only reparation including composting, bio-stabilisation…conversion into biodiversity park (on the lines Swarn Jayanti Park on Ring Road) can only take place, if this landfill site closes for good. There is no other alternative possible in these circumstances,” the EDMC said.
The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi government and the civic bodies to submit an action plan for identifying alternative landfill sites and setting up waste-to-energy plants in the city.
It had said it was unfortunate that at a time when the national capital was grappling with the huge quantum of waste to the tune of 14,000 metric tonnes on a daily basis, the authorities were involved in a “blame game” and showing an irresponsible attitude.
With the rapid development and massive urbanisation of the metropolis, the waste generation was increasing on a daily basis which has resulted in the saturation of the existing landfill sites which can handle only up to 7,000 metric tonnes of waste, the tribunal had said.