The members of Citizens for Clean Air, a citizens' collective group of Gurugram on Saturday wrote a letter to Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) expressing their concern over the covering of Bandhwari Landfill site with plastic liners.
They urged the HSPCB to investigate the matter and ensure that Eco Green, which is responsible for managing Bandhwari landfill site, should be stopped from using unscientific practice and implement environment-friendly methods under Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016.
According to them, the landﬁll site is covered with large quantities of the plastic lining which is a matter of grave concern and poses a serious threat to the health of the citizens.
The activists questioned company's decision to cover the landfill with plastic lining. They further said that the plastic sheet must be placed underneath the landfill to prevent the seepage of any hazardous liquid.
Ruchika Sethi, founder of Citizens For Clean Air said, "This landfill has all sorts of waste materials and by covering it with plastic, the waste management company Eco Green is creating a huge anaerobic condition."
According to the SWM Rules 2016, which clearly states that the HDPE linings should be from three sides of the dumping site and not from the upper side.
"There is nowhere it (the rule) mentions covering the landﬁll with plastic linings. What is equally perplexing is the excessive use of plastic, which is against the climate change guidelines, NGT stipulations and Government notiﬁcations." Sethi said.
Activists said that the leachate management system on the site has not been working efficiently which further causes environmental issues. Because of the presence of the plastic, the gases can accumulate and result in an explosion. It can further lead to the release of Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which will further aggravate the already polluted air of Gurugram.
Dr. Rekha Singh, an environmental expert said, "Landﬁll site should have garland drains to collect the leachate which is then to be treated in STP before further usage. Covering from the top only creates anaerobic conditions which result in the formation of methane gas."
"It also leads to the most harmful, Green House Gases, besides emitting foul smell which can lead to various hazardous diseases for the residents in the vicinity," she added.
Another group member NB Nair, Scientist (Retd.), Environmental Assessment Division, BARC said, "This for sure will result in all sorts of air pollutants, including many chains of highly toxic carcinogens like dioxins and furans. Many of them have long chemical half-lives will go on accumulating for many decades and will spread to the biosphere and breathing zone tens of kilometers around such plants."