Gurugram: Residents from various sectors of Gurugram and from surrounding villages expressed disapproval of the “waste to energy plant” and its expansion from 15mw to 25mw. Despite the rain, residents of the area were present at the landfill site at Bandhwari Village in Aravali Hills near Gurugram.
Representatives of various RWAs, NGOs, social and environmental groups, and members of Aravali Bachao Citizens group, Citizens 4 Clean, NCR waste matters, Warrior Moms etc were present and spoke at the public hearing.
They voiced their concerns against any expansion of existing waste to energy plant at the landfill site. They expressed that the landfill site and any such concept of waste to energy would adversely affect the ecology of the area and the residents of nearby villages and Gurugram.
On Tuesday, a public hearing was called by the civic bodies on the subject of waste to energy plant expansion. Despite heavy rain, more than 200 people from Gurugram, Faridabad and nearby villages around the landfill came to attend the public hearing.
They were either standing or sitting in rain with or without umbrellas to say what they want and how they want to save the Aravalli and the environment of the area. Aravalli Bachao group members demanded that the public hearing be declared null and void as the public hearing was in violation of the rules of the EIA notification.
“We want a sustainable city to live in. Cities like Indore, Ambikapur in Chattisgarh, Kerala towns are managing their waste without creating toxic waste to energy plants and are creating wealth by waste recovery. We want the authorities sitting here to call a round table of active citizens of Gurugram and Faridabad and solid waste management experts from around the country to discuss sustainable models for Gurugram and Faridabad to make these cities model cities. The authorities agreed for holding this,” said Neelam Ahluwalia from the Aravalli Bachao citizens group.
Dr Sanjay Sharma and Dr Sarika Verma talked about the negative health impacts of waste to energy plants. Dr Sarika shared how the people are affected with the disease like cancer in Gandhari village and how the waste to energy plant would affect the kids and newly born children. She also emphasised that the water contamination due to landfill sites and also the air pollution due to waste to energy plant would be lethal to the babies in the womb.
Shashi Bhushan, representing waste workers, talked about prioritising source segregation. Monika Khanna Gulati from NCR waste matters insisted that the authorities respond to every question that the citizens have raised in the public hearing officially on their website.
Residents focussed on the source segregation and sustainable approach from both the sides, the authority and the community. “If the solid waste management rules are strictly enforced, there is no need for a toxic landfill or waste to energy plant,” said Neelam Ahluwalia, representing Aravali Bachao Citizens group.
She shared that their letter lists eight objections to the government plan for setting up a waste-to-energy plant. “Environment NGOs, forest movements, waste management experts from across the country have written to the Haryana government authorities giving their objections to why waste to energy plants do not work,” she added.
Vaishali Rana, an activist explained to the officials that how a huge water catchment area and a source of water for Delhi-NCR is getting contaminated due to the existing landfill site. She said that the points raised by the citizens must be answered by the authority and put in the public domain. Officials from the administration assured the gathering that each and every point raised in the hearing would be answered.