In a bid to expedite the process to clean Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday inspected the Okhla Landfill site. He undertook a review of the processes that are ongoing to clear up the legacy waste at the site. After going through the site, he announced that the Delhi Government & MCD is hopeful of clearing the landfill site by December this year, ahead of its target of May next year. Urban Development Minister Kailash Gahlot, MCD Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi and Deputy Mayor Aaley Iqbal were also present on the inspection with the CM.
The area of the Sanitary Landfill (SLF) is about 63 acres. Garbage has been coming here since 1996. Following the instructions of NGT, in 2019, the initiative to remove the garbage by biomining was started from here. Till March 1, 2023, about 25.56 lakh metric tonnes of garbage has been removed from here. The agency doing the work of biomining and bioremediation from the Okhla landfill site has to dispose of 30 lakh metric tonnes of garbage. Till March 1, 2023, 5.10 lakh metric tonnes of garbage has been removed and disposed of here. A target has been given to completely clean the litter by May 2024. The agency has been given a separate target of three months each to clear the garbage from the Okhla landfill site.
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Elaborating on the matter, the Delhi CM said that the mountain of waste has been around for 26 years and has been adding on waste since then. He further said that the landfill has about 40 lakh metric tonnes of waste at the moment. Since 2019, the MCD has been removing waste from here and around 25 lakh metric tonnes of waste has been processed, but there is still around 40 lakh metric tonnes of waste lying here at the time, he said.
The Delhi CM added that the initial target was to clear this space up by May next year. But in some good news for the residents of Delhi, he said that work was already underway here and the government was hopeful of clearing the landfill by December this year.
The CM added that the biomining capacity is fairly high at around 17,000 metric tonnes. But the capacity to take the waste elsewhere is much lower. The CM explained that the waste that is picked from here has to be taken somewhere else and the capacity of that is lower than the biomining capacity. There are three kinds of wastes, he explained, the C&D, RDF and Inert waste. "Our capacity to dispose of waste at the moment is around 4,500 tonnes. For a while now, we have been wanting to increase this capacity and I have just been informed that from April 1st, the Delhi Government will be increasing its capacity to dispose of waste to 10,000 metric tonnes. The Delhi Government is also hopeful that it will be able to dispose off 15,000 metric tonnes of waste by June 1st. If the government manages to achieve this target then hopefully by December this year or January next year, the mountain of waste here at Okhla landfill site will be disposed off. This will be a huge relief to those who live close to this site."
The CM further added that once the Delhi Government clears the landfill over here, then there is a plan to build a plant to form bricks from the C&D waste and there is a plan to create a biomethanation plant.
Urban Development Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted, "Visited Okhla landfill site today along with CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi, and Deputy Mayor Shri Aaley Iqbal. Delhiites will soon be free from mountains of garbage. Under the guidance of CM Arvind Kejriwal, we are determined to make Delhi pollution free."
MCD Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi tweeted, "Visited the Okhla Landfill with CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, who reviewed the work in progress of garbage processing. He asked us to expedite the process so that we can finish the work of cleaning off the site by December this year, in contrast to the stipulated deadline - May '2024"