In a first-of-its-kind development, the municipal solid waste dumped at East Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill will be used in the construction of a part of NH 24. This stretch will connect Delhi and Meerut. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) in this regard.
As per the MoU, the move comes after the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) submitted its study reports to NHAI this June. NHAI hired CRRI for conducting the technical feasibility study of utilising municipal solid waste for National Highway development projects, including the expansion of NH 24. According to the study, about 60 per cent to 75 per cent of the waste at Ghazipur can be utilised for National Highway projects. The MoU says that construction work for widening NH 24 will clear the entire Ghazipur dumpsite.
EDMC Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh told City Spidey that the move could provide a solution for the disposal of municipal solid waste and would come as a relief to residents living in the vicinity of the landfill.
“The Ghazipur landfill had crossed its capacity in 2002, and the waste has piled up about 50 m above the permitted level," added Singh. "It has been a serious concern ever since."
The MoU, however, does not mention a date for the commencement of the project. "In two weeks, a Project Facilitation Committee [PFC] will be set up to chalk out the project plan," said Jitender Chaudhary, standing committee chairman of EDMC. “This project is being initiated to implement new solid waste management rules that can effectively remove and dispose of garbage.”
As per the MoU, EDMC will provide all necessary clearance and manpower to NHAI for implementation of the project. The civic body has also been asked to provide temporary space for waste storage. EDMC is to assist NHAI in organising and conducting public-awareness programmes to educate residents on the benefits of the project.
NHAI will be bearing all expenses for the project and will be free to engage third parties for specific technology assistance.
In the absence of an alternative to the 30-acre Ghazipur landfill site, EDMC dumps nearly 2,500 metric tonnes of garbage there every day.
Delhi High Court has lauded this step by EDMC and has urged the city's civic bodies to take similar eco-friendly initiatives.