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