Delhi's garbage politics continues: AAP files case in NGT over allotment of landfill sites, seeks to outdo BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party are at each other yet again: This time over a protest against two new landfill sites allotted to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). A week after Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari lodged a complaint against the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) decision to allot two landfill sites in Yamuna floodplains, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to strike down the same decision.

 Delhis garbage politics continues: AAP files case in NGT over allotment of landfill sites, seeks to outdo BJP

Dilip Pandey. Image courtesy: Twitter

AAP leader Dilip Pandey announced the party decision to file the case in the NGT. “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 alleged.

Pandey further added that both landfill sites fall under the Yamuna floodplains and would cause irreversible ecological imbalance apart from causing severe health hazard in the nearby residential areas.

The petition, to which the AAP leader is also a signatory, states that the 13 acres of land at Sonia Vihar near Police Firing Range and 50 acres of land at Ghinda Gujjran allotted to EDMC are also adjacent to Delhi Jal board pipelines.

“If this project starts, several densely populated colonies and villages nearby such as Sonia Vihar, West Karawal Nagar, Sabhapur Village, Chohan Patti, Dayal Pur Village, Ankur Vihar would suffer severe public health problems. Thus, there is substantial question relating to environment, wherein the community at large is affected by the environmental consequences”, the petition states. The petition also alleges the DDA ruling violates the earlier order passed by the NGT for the protection of the Yamuna floodplains.

In an earlier order, the NGT ruled: “We also direct that the DDA shall not, in future, issue such permission and any permission issued by the DDA or any state/authority in relation to flood plain of River Yamuna, shall be subject to the orders of the tribunal”. The AAP petition seeks NGT intervention and asks the tribunal to direct respondent authorities to not disturb environment in the areas.

It further asks that the DDA be directed to cancel the allotment of Dumping land at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda to EDMC and report the same to the tribunal. It also prays for a cumulative impact study to record the status of ecology of the Yamuna floodplains.

The AAP petition in the NGT brings to the forefront Delhi’s burning problem of garbage disposal. Landfill sites in Delhi are a major cause of concern as all of them are seen as a public health hazard. Only last year, a blast at the Ghazipur landfill caused a collapse of mounds of garbage, which killed two persons. The EDMC was then forced to stop dumping of garbage there by Delhi's lieutenant governor.

Since then, the Delhi government and its municipal corporations have been unable to find landfill sites. Pandey further told the media, "In case the BJP-led MCD does not withdraw its decision, then the AAP will take to roads. We will take the whole matter to a logical conclusion, which will be to remove the landfill sites”.

EDMC Mayor Bipin Bihari Singh expressed surprise at the AAP’s statement. “Even we do not want the landfill sites in the Yamuna floodplains. In fact, we were first to raise concern over the issue. We have raised our objection against the decision to establish landfill sites near Yamuna River to the lieutenant governor last week through Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwary”, Singh said.

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Updated Date: May 01, 2018 22:24:10 IST