Garbage residue to be ‘stored’ at Bhatti mines? NGT to de­cide

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­ Narela Ghazipur DELHI Okhla

New Delhi: Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) has asked the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions to start bio­min­ing of three land­fill sites to flat­ten the cap­i­tal’s garbage mounds. How­ever, all three cor­po­ra­tions are now fac­ing a new hur­dle — they don’t have the space to “store” in­ert ma­te­ri­als like soil and pee­bles gen­er­ated dur­ing the process.

To sort it out, South Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (SDMC), on be­half of the civic bod­ies, has moved the green tri­bunal to al­low them to use four aban­doned pits at the Bhatti mines, an of­fi­cial said. “Af­ter trom­melling of garbage, 60-70% of the waste mass will be in­ert ma­te­ri­als. We don’t have any space to store them and the sheer vol­ume does not al­low us to use the en­tire lot in the con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste plants,” he added.

Fol­low­ing the NGT or­ders, the bio­min­ing and biore­me­di­a­tion of three land­fills — Okhla, Bhal­swa and Ghazipur — will clear ap­prox­i­mately 27 mil­lion tonne of waste at these sites. Nine agen­cies have been hired to in­stall trom­mel ma­chines. “For the work to con­tinue be­yond a point, the in­erts will have to be trans­ported to some other place. This is why we have re­vived the old pro­posal of us­ing the Bhatti mines,” an­other of­fi­cial said.

For bio­min­ing, cylin­dri­cal ro­tat­ing sieves will be used to sep­a­rate waste into four cat­e­gories — con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste, met­als, plas­tic and rags, and fi­nally soil and peb­bles. While the first three com­po­nents will be sent to re­cy­cling units, soil needs to be dumped else­where.

The min­ing op­er­a­tions at Bhatti were stopped 35-40 years ago and since then the pits are ly­ing aban­doned, the plea states. “In­stead of solid waste, as was ear­lier pro­posed, we want to use them for dump­ing in­ert soil af­ter proper treat­ment and plac­ing a liner mech­a­nism to pre­vent any con­tam­i­na­tion of ground­wa­ter,” the of­fi­cial said. “Once the fill­ing is over, the same site and sur­face can be used in a reg­u­lar way,” he added.

A pro­posal for us­ing pit num­bers 2,6,10 and 12 was moved by the erst­while Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion of Delhi in 1994. The pro­posal for us­ing these 30m-deep pits spread over 477 acres was ap­proved by the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee of Delhi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. The fi­nal nod will come from Ridge Man­age­ment Board. In April 2005, the board had said that the ap­proval might be con­sid­ered only af­ter the cor­po­ra­tions ad­hered to Wildlife Pro­tec­tion Act and En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Act, the SDMC plea stated. En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, how­ever, have al­ways ob­jected to the move.

The ap­pli­ca­tion has re­quested the tri­bunal to di­rect the Union en­vi­ron­ment min­istry to pro­vide the pits along with le­gal sup­port and clear­ance.

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