Hundreds of residents and their children from Homes 121, a residential society of Sector 121 in Noida, on Sunday took out a protest march in the colony against the proposal to locate a garbage dumpsite in their neighbourhood in Sector 123. According to a proposal cleared by Noida authorities, the garbage dumpsite at present in Sector 138 will be shifted to Sector 123 where a waste-to-energy plant is also to come up.
The children of the residential society took this initiative as the locality is densely populated and the setting up of the plant will pose a serious health risk for all – residents, animals and birds alike.
"We have designed these posters as we feel the authority might think about us before actually shifting the dump yard," said Vipul, a young protester.
The proposed 25-acre waste-to-energy site is just 175 m from Homes 121, violating the norms of Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016. According to the norms, a landfill site should be located at least 100 m from a riverbed and 200 m from water bodies, highways, habitation, public parks and water-supply wells. Also, landfills are not permitted near floodplains and should be at least 20 km away from airports.
Many other residents joined the protest.
Abhay a resident of Sector 121, said, “We can see a Ghazipur-like dump coming up next to our homes. This will be a huge health hazard to people living in the neighbourhood. We will not allow Noida Authority to do this to us.”
In 2013, the Authority had proposed a landfill site on 25 acres of land in Sector 123 to get rid of the city’s municipal solid waste. However, the authority changed its stand and promised to shift the site when people from nearby housing complexes — namely in sectors 119, 120, 121 and 122 — filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) objecting to the project.
Thereafter, Noida Authority started dumping a major part of the waste on a vacant plot in Sector 138 A.
But in October this year, NGT directed the Authority to stop dumping waste illegally in Sector 138 A, and ordered it to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Sector 123. This directive led the Authority to return to its decision to use the Sector 123 site, drawing flak from residents living in the vicinity.