Dump sites ‘time bombs’, NGT seeks control room | Delhi News. indiabusinessport.com

New Delhi: Pulling up the Delhi government and MCD for failing to dispose of the garbage in the three landfills of Delhi, the National Green Tribunal said the dump sites are like “time bombs” as they constantly generate explosive gases like methane which may escape through vertical and lateral ways posing constant threat of explosion.
The NGT directed a slew of restoration measures that includes scientific disposal, construction of boundary wall, biofencing, plantation, leachate treatment facility etc. The tribunal also directed the government to set up a control room within a month to extend immediate help in emergencies to the people living near the landfills.
It further pointed out that the 152 acres under the landfills are worth over Rs 10,000 crore at applicable circle rate and much more at market value. “There is thus urgency to retrieve the said public asset for beneficial public use,” the NGT said.
NGT sought the penalty amount of Rs 900 crore to be submitted within one month, in a ring-fenced account to be operated under the directions of the Delhi chief secretary. The amount is based on cost to restore the landfills at approximately Rs 300 per metric tonne. The government said it is still studying the order.
“Following the pattern adopted in respect of other states, we hold the NCT of Delhi liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 900 crore having regard to the quantity of undisposed waste which is to the extent of 3 crore MTs at three landfill sites. This amount has to be used for restoration measures to recover the land which is of ten times the value,” the order issed Wednesday said, adding that funds can be raised from the generators of waste, violators, erring officers, corporates and if needed, from a part of the land under the garbage.
The order came following a fresh matter taken up based on TOI reports on landfills, including one published on April 22 that pointed out violations of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, in handling of legacy waste in Delhi. “Steps taken so far do not meet the mandate of law and are not commensurate to the grim factual emergency constantly threatening safety and health of citizens and the environment with no accountability of officers entrusted the task,” the NGT said.
According to the tribunal, about 80% of the legacy waste — 220 lakh metric tonne — remained unprocessed. It further pointed out the gap of 5,996 MT per day in processing and generation, which accounts for an additional 66 lakh metric tonne in last three years alone. “So far, the work has been delegated to lower-rank officers who have not been adequately able to handle the situation,” the tribunal said.
“To compensate the affected citizens of the area, the authorities are under obligation to develop dense forest in at least on one-third of the land occupied by the dumpsite, after the sites are cleared. One-third can be utilised for setting up Integrated Waste Management Facilities or other like infrastructure. The remaining one-third can be utilised for any other purpose, including raising of funds consistent with environment concerns without affecting the use of the two-thirds, as earlier mentioned,” the tribunal said.
It further ordered that no additional waste is dumped at the site with legacy waste. Post-collection, the waste must be taken to facilities like composing centres, C&D waste centres, waste-to-energy units and cement factories, the NGT said. To minimise foul smell, it said multiple rows of native trees, which can grow fast with less water, must be planted. “This requires careful planning and execution with the involvement of senior-level officers instead of leaving the task to junior officers as appears to be currently happening… A clear action plan with defined course of action needs to be drawn up after brainstorming and studying the remediation processes adopted at other places,” the order said.

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