The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on December 14, 2017, restrained the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), DSIIDC and other local authorities, from awarding work for commercial projects, till they identify alternative landfill sites in the city.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar came down heavily on the public authorities, for not putting forward any constructive suggestion to resolve the issue of waste management and for creating hurdles in providing land for waste plants.
The green panel directed the chief secretary of the Delhi government, to hold a meeting with the DDA, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC), municipal corporations and other authorities concerned, within two weeks and come out with some alternative sites for setting up waste-to-energy plants. The tribunal asked the chief secretary and the Lieutenant Governor to expedite the matter of identification of landfill sites, for better management of municipal solid waste.
The NGT said that 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 daily basis, the authorities were involved in ‘blame game’ and showing an irresponsible attitude.
With rapid development and massive urbanisation of the national capital, waste generation was increasing on daily basis, which has resulted in saturation of the existing landfill sites, which can handle only up to 7,000 metric tonnes of waste, the tribunal said.
“While the permissible height of the landfill sites is 20 metres, in actuality it has reached height of 65 metres. The sites are being put to fire by methane generation or human intervention. The improper handling of municipal waste dumped at the sites, has even resulted in the deaths of two people,” the bench said It asked the public authorities to make concerted efforts, to deal with the problem of waste and establish new landfill sites in a speedy manner.
The NGT earlier directed the civic bodies and the DSIIDC to come out with a clear mechanism, for setting up an integrated waste management plant at Ranikhera near the Delhi-Haryana border. The green panel noted that the pieces of land at Ranikhera, which have been earmarked for the waste management plant, exist in four different pieces. The green panel proposed that the land which belonged to DSIIDC can be used for setting up the plant and it can be given a different piece of land near the area, measuring 16 acres, for industrial use. The tribunal, which is looking into the issue of alternative landfill sites, had earlier ordered inspection of the land at Ranikhera.
The green panel had constituted a committee, to look into the working of waste-to-energy plants in the national capital. It had also asked the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to approach the Delhi government, to provide more landfill sites in the city and maintain them strictly, in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.