The Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate for the North East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, Dilip Pandey, has raked up the issue of the setting up of two dumping grounds on the Yamuna flood plains by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. On Thursday, Pandey also started a petition on change.org asking people to sign in protest of the proposal.
The petition, which has received over 8,500 signatures till now, seeks that the EDMC should find another site for the landfills. The campaign, launched weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, is likely to connect immediately to people in Sonia Vihar, West Karawal Nagar, Sabhapur Village, Chohan Patti, Dayal Pur Village and Ankur Vihar, which lie near the Yamuna flood plains.
In the petition, Pandey alleged that the EDMC is planning to build the two landfills at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran.
The petition stated, “This is the most dangerous place to build a landfill. Central Pollution Control Board has given a nod to the proposal, ignoring several laws such as the Water Act, 1974, the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the Waste Management Rules 2016.”
The Water Act, 1974, prohibits polluting and causing any damage to the ecology of rivers without consent from the authorities.
The petition said that garbage, toxins and heavy metals will flow directly from the landfills into the Yamuna.
“The Yamuna bank is an active floodplain which drains directly into the river. The area is also highly unstable with seismic activity. Any toxin stored on the banks will spill into the river and poison it,” it said.
Pandey also expressed fear that the toxins will enter Delhi’s ground water and water supply and the water will become dangerous to use.
“Once the landfill is built, the damage will be done. It will be a bureaucratic nightmare to implement safety measures or shut it down and reverse the damage,” he added.
On Wednesday, the DDA allocated land in Ghonda Gujran to the EDMC for setting up a landfill, as per a report in Hindustan Times.
The official was also quoted as saying that the landfill site will not be an open garbage dumping ground. He claimed that no trash will be visible, and there will be no stench.
However, Pandey took the opportunity to blame the BJP for the EDMC's decision. In a press conference on Wednesday, he said that he will file a fresh application challenging the actions of the DDA and the EDMC (both of which are controlled by the BJP).
He also asked Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief and current MP from North East Delhi, to make his stand clear on the issue, pointing out that it concerns the health and well-being of lakhs of people.
Pandey had first raised the issue last year after land was allotted to the EDMC for this purpose.
“The recent allocation of land for the landfill sites by the DDA that falls under East Delhi has been done without any proper application of mind by the concerned authorities,” he had said in a petition to the National Green Tribunal.
In the petition to the NGT, he demanded that the DDA be directed to cancel the allotment of the dumping land at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda to the EDMC. He also had prayed for a cumulative impact study to record the status of ecology of the Yamuna floodplains.
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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 21:10:48 IST