Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the Bhalswa landfill site on Saturday and said about 45 lakh tonnes of waste from it is expected to be processed and reduced by May next year. Interacting with reporters at the site, Kejriwal said once 45 lakh tonnes of waste gets reduced, “35 acres of land” will be reclaimed, which can be reused in multiple ways.
There are three landfill sites in Delhi, located at Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur. Kejriwal said Bhalswa landfill site has about 60-65 lakh tonnes of municipal waste spread over 72 acres, and besides legacy waste, 2,000 tonnes of fresh waste is getting added daily to the massive dump.
“The target till today was to reduce 14 lakh tonnes of waste (from it), but it is being done speedily and the target has been exceeded, with the figure being 18 lakh tonnes,” he said. The chief minister said the target for the agency working on the waste processing at Bhalswa landfill site is to reduce waste by 30 lakh tonnes by May 15, 2024.
“But, given the speed of work, about 45 lakh tonne waste is expected to be reduced by May 15 next year," he said. For processing the balance waste, another agency is to be hired, initial work for which has been completed, but the tendering process is getting stalled as the process has to get through the standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The MCD panel will be formed as per the directions of the Supreme Court, “so, we are trying” to find an alternative solution, he said. The chief minister said he will also visit the other two landfill sites very soon.
During the visit, Kejriwal was accompanied by Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi, Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, Leader of House in MCD, Mukesh Goyal and AAP's MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak. Later in a post on 'X' in Hindi, Kejriwal said, "We had promised the people of Delhi that we would remove the mountains of garbage present in the national capital. We are engaged in this work day and night. Today, I visited the Bhalswa landfill site and I am happy to report that the work is progressing at a fast pace.”
The chief minister also said in his post that "work is also going on at a fast pace at other landfill sites in Delhi" and that he "will visit there next week". According to an official statement issued later, as per the instructions of the CM, 18 lakh metric tonnes of garbage was to be disposed of by 15 November 2023. But the Aam Aadmi Party government of MCD has disposed of 18.13 lakh tonnes of garbage by 29 September 2023. In this way, the target was achieved about one-and-a-half-month ago.
According to the data, a target was set to dispose of 1.80 lakh metric tonnes of garbage in the first quarter from 15 November 15, 2022 to February 15, 2023. But in the first quarter, 2.58 lakh tonnes of garbage was disposed of. By the second quarter, 8.01 lakh tonnes of garbage was disposed of against the target of 7.20 lakh tonnes and by the third quarter 14.12 lakh tonnes of garbage had been disposed of against the target of 12.60 lakh tonnes, the statement said.
After this, 18 lakh tonnes of garbage was to be disposed of in the fourth quarter till November 15 this year but at the end of September itself, more than 18 lakh metric tonnes of garbage has been disposed of. Besides, 22 high-quality trommel machines are in operation at the site. Two Belgian mobile scalpers are operating, with a capacity of 100 tonnes per hour, the statement said. Also, more than 350 vehicles are working for disposal of garbage, including construction and demolition waste, it said.
(With inputs from PTI)