An acute lack of landfill sites is practically laying waste to the Capital while municipal officials say they are panicked.

The city’s civic bodies have been hit by a rash of criticism since a portion of the Ghazipur dumping ground collapsed last year, killing two people. And officials say a rerun of the fiasco cannot be ruled out.

On Thursday, Delhi’s garbage problem came back into sharp focus with the Supreme Court pulling up lieutenant governor Anil Baijal for failure to address the issue of overflowing landfill sites and the inability to find alternate spots.

The SC even took a dig at the L-G, using his raging turf war with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Baijal’s assertion that he continues to be the boss despite the apex courts recent ruling that he cannot take independent decisions and is bound by the elected government’s aid and advice.

You say I have all the power, I am Superman but you don’t do anything to address even the garbage issue, an angry Justice Madan B Lokur told the lawyers representing the L-G.

The SC came down hard on the lieutenant governor after amicus curiae (senior lawyer appointed to assist the court) Colin Gonsalves informed that no one from Baijal’s office attended the last three meetings to discuss ways to clean up the city’s three landfill sites situated at Ghazipur (East Delhi), Bhalswa (North) and Okhla (South).

One recycling plant under each of the three municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD’s) at present has failed to handle the load.

They were declared exhausted a long time ago but the civic bodies continue to dump garbage there for want of alternate locations, in violation of a Delhi Pollution Control Committee ban imposed nine years ago.

The situation is set to become scarier as the daily release of garbage in the city is expected to jump to 18,000 tonnes by 2021, up from the present 10,000 tonnes per day, a court-appointed panel said recently.

The waste dumped at the landfill sites releases a lot of methane, leading to frequent fires which in turn add to air pollution in the Capital.

In September last year, two people had died after a large part of the Ghazipur landfill, which should have been closed 15 years ago.

The east and south civic bodies have tied up with a team of environmental engineers from IIT Delhi, headed by Professor Manoj Dutta.

But the bigger problem that the MCD’s are facing is finding alternate sites. While the north corporation faced stiff protests from locals at Rani Khera who did not allow their village to become a new landfill site, the East MCD continues to offload its trash on a portion of the Ghazipur landfill.

Environmental experts say the only solution to the complex problem is segregation-at-source from every household, followed by composting of the green waste and recycling of the dry trash.

The L-G faced the wrath of the SC bench after he said garbage disposal in the city was the job of the civic bodies and he was only in charge of monitoring it.

This is nothing but passing on the buck, the judges snapped back. Coming down hard on the L-G, the court said that despite convening 25 meetings on the issue, Delhi was still under mountains of waste.

The bench directed the office of the L-G to file an affidavit by July 16, indicating the time frame on the steps it is supposed to take to deal with the situation. ago, came crashing down, sweeping several people and vehicles on a road nearby into an adjacent canal.

Following the mishap, the L-G directed the corporations to ensure that waste was not dumped at the already exhausted sites. The three MCD’s are striving to shut down their respective unengineered and insanitary landfills.

The east and south civic bodies have tied up with a team of environmental engineers from IIT Delhi, headed by Professor Manoj Dutta. But the bigger problem that the MCD’s are facing is finding alternate sites.

While the north corporation faced stiff protests from locals at Rani Khera who did not allow their village to become a new landfill site, the East MCD continues to offload its trash on a portion of the Ghazipur landfill.

Environmental experts say the only solution to the complex problem is segregation-at-source from every household, followed by composting of the green waste and recycling of the dry trash.

The L-G faced the wrath of the SC bench after he said garbage disposal in the city was the job of the civic bodies and he was only in charge of monitoring it.

This is nothing but passing on the buck, the judges snapped back. Coming down hard on the L-G, the court said that despite convening 25 meetings on the issue, Delhi was still under mountains of waste.

The bench directed the office of the L-G to file an affidavit by July 16, indicating the time frame on the steps it is supposed to take to deal with the situation.

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