Can the municipal solid waste be used in road construction? Who’s to bear the cost of segregation and transport? These questions continue to act as roadblocks to an effective resolution.
Respite will not come easy to residents of East Delhi living near the Ghazipur landfill site. The government is still mulling when exactly to start the process of waste segregation, and how to have the segregated waste transported.
It has been a year since the ministry of road and transport, the ministry of urban development and NHAI discussed ways to use municipal solid waste in road construction. The authorities even signed an agreement to this effect with East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for Ghazipur landfill site in November 2016.
According to sources, NHAI and Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) carried out a detailed study to investigate the possibility of using municipal solid waste material as embankment fill.
But the bigger question is who's to bear the cost of segregation and transportation of the waste from the landfill site to the construction area.
A Delhi High Court ruling asked NHAI to segregate the waste and have it carried to the construction site.
On September 1, 2017, when a portion of Ghazipur landfill collapsed — killing two people and injuring five — the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed NHAI to start removing waste from the landfill site immediately.
However, NHAI sought more time, and assured the tribunal that it would start waste segregation by November.
It is halfway through November, but NHAI is yet to finalise the tenders for waste segregation. On November 1, City Spidey was informed that the bids for hiring private companies had been sent out and things would be finalised within a week’s time.
City Spidey contacted BS Singhla, a senior NHAI official and project in-charge, on November 14 again.
Here’s what he said: “Technical bids have been finalised, and the next step is financial bids. Once they are finalised, the tenders would be given out to private companies.”
When asked when exactly the process of waste segregation would kick off, he noncommittally offered, “It will take at least two months more.”
NHAI could start carrying waste from Ghazipur landfill site in the next two months, but officials claim that it won’t solve the situation entirely. In Singhla’s words, “We will use municipal waste on a two-km stretch on Delhi-Meerut highway as an experiment for the next two years. How much waste we can use on the road would be decided only after two years.”
Earlier, it was said that solid waste from Ghazipur landfill would be used in the widening of NH 24, which is being widened from four to six lanes.