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Green Court Raps Delhi Government Over Ghazipur Landfill Collapse

New Delhi:  The National Green Tribunal today issued show cause notices to the Delhi government, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and others over the Ghazipur landfill collapse in which two persons were killed.

A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar rapped the AAP government and civic bodies for not discharging their statutory obligations. “Why did you not carry out the directions of the tribunal
which have been issued time and again? Are people of Delhi expected to meet this fate? Are they supposed to die under a garbage dump? We had asked you to reduce the height of the dump and take appropriate measures for reduction of the waste. Why didn’t you do it?

“You are killing people in the national capital under the hill of garbage. It cannot be more humiliating than this,” the bench also comprising Justice R S Rathore said and posted the matter for hearing on September 12.

A portion of the 45m high garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur collapsed on September 1 because of heavy rain, killing two people and pushing a car and three two wheelers off the road and into a canal.

According to officials of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), which manages the landfill site that was started in 1984 and is spread over 29 acres, the site was saturated in 2002 only, and the civic body had been “looking for an alternative site for long time”.

According to officials, the permissible height for a garbage dump is 20 m. Every day, 2,500-3000 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped at the Ghazipur site. The humongous heap sits like a Leviathan, with eagles and crows circling even as the stench from the mountain of trash fills the air.

In the wake of the accident, Lt Governor Anil Baijal had also imposed a ban on dumping of garbage at the Ghazipur landfill site and the waste meant for it was diverted to a temporary site in Ranikhera near the Delhi-Haryana border.

Incidentally, the EDMC in last November had signed an MoU with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for using the solid waste from the site, in the construction of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, a section of the NH-24.

The other major dumping sites in the city are in Okhla and Narela-Bawana.