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Faridabad to get 30-acre landfill

September 17, 2019 04:54 AM


Faridabad to get 30-acre landfill
alternative to Bandhwari The move follows NGT’s order asking govt to remove 25 lakh tonnes of legacy waste at Bandhwari landfill within six months; activists raise objections to the new site

Prayag Arora-Desai

Gurugram : The Haryana government has instructed the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) to allot 30 acres of land near Pali village for establishing an alternative dumping site to Gurugram’s Bandhwari landfill.

According to an internal correspondence accessed by HT, the new dumping site has been proposed as a “temporary land usage until the land is reclaimed at the present site (Bandhwari)”.

The development follows strict orders passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in July this year, instructing the state government to treat and remove 25 lakh tonnes of legacy waste accumulated over the last decade at Bandhwari landfill within six months. On September 14, a meeting to discuss the same was held among MCG and MCF officials, and Anand Mohan Sharan, principal secretary, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

The demand to create an alternative landfill had also been raised by the MCG in April this year, when the then municipal commissioner, Yashpal Yadav, requested the state government to stop the flow of Faridabad’s garbage to Bandhwari. Yadav had also urged the state government to reconsider a four-year-old proposal to start a landfill in Faridabad’s Pali Mohbtabad village, where an abandoned mining pit that is about 92 acres in size, was identified in 2015 for the purpose of dumping Faridabad’s municipal waste. “In the absence of an alternative landfill, the strain on Bandhwari has become immense,” Yadav had said.

However, activists have raised objections to the idea of a second landfill in Pali, on grounds that the site is protected forest land. Jeetendra Bhadana of Save Aravalli, a non-governmental organisation, said, “The land in Pali Mohbtabad was revealed to be situated on protected forest land, under sections 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), as per a 2015 RTI response. It would be irresponsible to start any kind of dumping there.”

In 2015, people from almost 20 villages had protested the landfill, following which the Haryana government discontinued its endeavour to denotify the area’s PLPA notification. “Interestingly, even the Bandhwari landfill site is situated on a PLPA land, making the practice of dumping there thoroughly illegal even if all scientific methods of waste management are followed. There simply cannot be any non-forestry activities in the Aravallis,” Bhadana added.

When asked, MCG commissioner Amit Khatri said the corporation has requested the Faridabad civic body for the 30-acre of land. “Now, we are waiting for the response from Faridabad corporation,” Khatri said.

Anand Mohan Sharan, principal secretary (ULBs), and MCF commissioner Sonal Goyal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by HT.

However, an MCF official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The site in Pali was allotted for a waste dump as per the Faridabad Master Plan 2031, therefore the municipal authorities deem it fit to go ahead with the proposal.”

Sunil Harsana, a field ecologist from Faridabad’s Mangar village, warned against the creation of a new landfill site in the Aravallis given the present status of Bandhwari. “The groundwater under Bandhwari is already contaminated, and has reportedly led to a spike in cancer cases in the surrounding villages. In case of Pali, the mining pit is much deeper and contains exposed groundwater. Starting a garbage dump here is akin to directly throwing your trash into the groundwater table and will have serious consequences for human and ecological health in the area.”

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