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Ghazipur Landfill Becomes New Battleground Between AAP, BJP Ahead Of MCD Polls

The BJP argues that the Delhi government of the AAP is “lying” and has not given due funds to the municipalities.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with Deputy CM Manish Sisodia visit Ghazipur landfill
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during his visit to the Ghazipur landfill on Thursday ahead of the MCD polls announced that ‘If we don’t clean Delhi in five years, don’t vote for us’. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo also said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers will leave the party one day. “A day will come when BJP waalas will leave the BJP. A day will come when even Sambit Patra will say BJP is a gandi party. I’m a jaadugar (magician), I know how to win people’s hearts," he said.

Kejrwal received black flags and slogans by the BJP workers at the saturated landfill at Ghazipur, which he visited today. This comes after Delhi CM pulled up the BJP for building three garbage mountains in 15 years.

AAP has been targeting the BJP over the mismanagement of three landfill sites in Delhi. AAP workers countered with slogans against the BJP, which ran the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for over a decade before all three MCD divisions were dissolved to make one unified body. Elections to that unified MCD are likely by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday: “I asked one of their leaders- What work have you done in the municipal corporation in 15 years? He said two things, 1. Build three big garbage mountains 2. Filled whole of Delhi with garbage. Tomorrow morning, I will go to see their Ghazipur garbage mountain. You also join me.”

Before Kejriwal arrived along with his Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, BJP workers stomped on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) flags, beating their chests, they cried, “Kejriwal, haye haye.” The workers could be seen waving black flags as well as flashing banners and raising slogans like 'Kejriwal wapas jao' (Kejriwal go back), and 'Kejriwal Chor hai' (Kejriwal is a thief). Some BJP workers laid the flags out on the road and landed blows on AAP members. They even blocked the road leading to the site. AAP workers, in retaliation also beat their chests and shouted slogans, “BJP murdabad”.

Delhi CM launched a scathing attack on the saffron party, said: "BJP has gifted Delhi three huge garbage dumps in 15 years. They have made lives miserable. This is not garbage mountains, but mountains of corruption by the BJP. I challenge them to show their work for Delhi, but any passerby here will tell you what AAP has done for them. We will take revenge on BJP by winning elections. I am Shravan Kumar for the people of Delhi.” By Shravan Kumar, likens himself to the Ramayana character who is known for taking his parents to shrines, as Kejriwal has done by sending Delhi’s elderly citizens on free-of-cost pilgrimages. 


What exactly seems to be the issue?

A report from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee says the city generates around 11,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Of this, around 5,000 tonnes are processed and the rest (6,000 tonnes per day or 21.6 lakh tonnes a year) ends up at the three landfill sites. 

Government data further shows that less than a fifth of the existing waste at the three landfill sites—Ghazipur, Okhla, and Bhalswa—has been processed since the project to flatten the mountains of garbage started in October 2019. The deadline set by the National Green Tribunal is barely two years away.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 11 held the Government of NCT Delhi liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs. 900 crores in relation to an alleged violation of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, in the handling of legacy waste sites in Delhi. This amount has to be used for restoration measures to recover the land which is 10 times the value.

Dump sites constantly generate explosive gases like methane that may escape through vertical and lateral ways posing a constant threat of explosion.

The BJP argues that the Delhi government of the AAP is “lying” and has not given due funds to the municipalities. It has vowed to clear the landfill sites ahead of the MCD polls.


Promises from MCD

To prevent fresh waste being dumped at the landfills in future, MCD is establishing two more waste-to-energy (WTE) plants by 2024-25, taking the total to five, with a total processing capacity of 11,800 tonne a day.

MCD’s WTE plants at Okhla, Bawana and Ghazipur consume 1,950, 2,500 and 1,300 tonnes of municipal waste every day and produce, respectively, 21 MW, 24 MW and 12 MW of electricity. The fourth plant at Tehkhand can consume 2,500 tonnes of waste to generate 25 MW. “The tender process for the fifth plant, which will use up 3,000 tonnes, is underway,” said an MCD official.

MCD claims that segregation of municipal solid waste was being implemented by almost half of the 272 municipal wards. This means working closely with RWAs and market associations to have waste segregated at source. But RWAs claim that in 90 per cent of the plotted areas, no segregation was being done at the source.

The recently launched Sahabhagita Scheme offers a five per cent tax rebate on development fees if housing societies and RWAs implement total waste segregation. But this has been impossible to implement in gated colonies because all land belongs to MCD, and moreover RWAs have no right to dig pits or utilise space in parks to manage waste on their own.

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MCD says it working on smaller projects alongside, such as bio-CNG plants, to ensure 100 per cent processing of municipal waste.
 

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