On March 26, 2019, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) allocated a 42.5-acre plot in Ghonda Gurjan village as an alternative to the saturated Ghazipur landfill. The 70-acre 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) continues 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 the local people 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 Ghonda Gurjan conflict. In April 2018, the DDA gave the in-principal approval to the project despite protests by locals and environmentalists. In May that year, the Central Pollution Control Board gave the project a go-ahead, saying that a portion of Ghonda Gujran (approximately 50 acres) could be allotted to the EDMC because it is in a no-flood 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 two years ago. 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 land allotment is currently awaiting the Environment Impact Assessment clearance.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Delhi Development Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, National Green Tribunal, East Delhi Municipal Corporation
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, Aam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party
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