Environmental Activists, Residents Oppose Landfill Proposed on Yamuna's Floodplains in Delhi

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

July 7, 2021

Location of Conflict

Ghonda Gurjan

New Delhi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

Landfill

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

17

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Delhi

Sector

Land Use

On March 26, 2019, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) allocated a 42.7acre plot in Ghonda Gurjan village as an alternative to the saturated Ghazipur landfill. The 70acre landfill, set up in 1984, completed its shelf life in the year 2000. But due to lack of alternative sites, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has continued to dump waste here. The idea for the new landfill in Ghonda Gurjan was proposed in 2017. Due to Ghonda Gurjan's proximity to the Yamuna floodplains, including proximity to the areas of Usmanpur, New Usmanpur, Gadhi Mandu and Kartar Nagar, environmental activists and residents have opposed the idea of a dump site, stating that it would damage the river's ecology. According to them, since the new landfill will be situated near the river, garbage and toxic leachate could flow into it, contaminating the water. Leachate may also be absorbed in the groundwater table, thereby polluting the aquifers, they point out. In September 2017, a principal committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) rejected the proposal for the new site at Ghonda Gurjan. But in April 2018, the DDA gave the inprincipal approval to the project despite protests by locals and environmentalists. In May that year, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) gave the project a goahead, saying that a portion of Ghonda Gujran (approximately 50 acres) could be allotted to the EDMC because it is in a noflood zone.  In May 2018, Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Dilip Kumar Pandey and others opposing the DDA's decision filed a plea at the NGT. Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, a people's movement for sustainable revival of the Yamuna, maintains that the allotted plot for the dumpsite falls under an active floodplain as it was inundated by flood in 2008, 2010 and 2013. An online petition against the proposed landfill was started in 2017. The petitioners claimed that the proposed site violates the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, which state that landfill sites should be at least 100 metres away from a river. The project is awaiting the Environment Impact Assessment clearance. In 2019, the proposed landfill site got completely inundated with floodwater. Manoj Misra sent letters to Delhis LieutenantGovernor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with videos and photographs of the site completely submerged, questioning the decision of the DDA, CPCB and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute to declare the area suitable for a landfill.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand to scrap the project

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016

    Schedule I(A)(vii) [The landfill site shall be 100 metres away from a river and shall not be permitted within floodplains as recorded for the last 100 years]

  2. Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006

    Clause 2 [All projects relating to municipal solid waste management require prior environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change]

  3. Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986

    Rule 5(1) [The Union government shall take into consideration the likely discharge of pollutants from an industry and the net adverse environmental impact likely to be caused by it while restricting or prohibiting industries in an area]

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Yes

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Original Application No. 178/2019

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Delhi Development Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, East Delhi Municipal Corporation

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, Aam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch
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