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Delhi govt blames frequent fires at Bhalswa landfill for spike in smog, minister assures action

The Minister Said The Delhi Government And Civic Bodies Are Working Out A Plan To Dispose The Excess Garbage And Douse Flames At The Bhalswa Landfill Site.

PTI | Updated on: 05 Nov 2016, 11:47:35 PM
Smoke arises from Delhi's largest landfill site Bhalswa dumpyard. (Getty Image)

New Delhi:

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain inspected Bhalswa landfill site on Saturday and said it was "one of the major contributor" of air pollution in the city due to frequent fires at the dumping site.

"This is a big cause of air pollution in Delhi as there are frequent cases of fire at several spots at the site. There is a need to address this problem," he told reporters.

The minister said the Delhi government and civic bodies are working out a plan to dispose the excess garbage and douse flames.

"MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) has asked for 15 to 20 days to douse the fire," Jain said.

The government is also considering to use part of garbage for road construction and rest can be utilised in waste-to-energy plant, he said.

Watch: As smog engulfs Delhi-NCR, MCD schools to remain closed on Saturday, face masks out of stock

Located in north-west Delhi, Bhalswa landfill site is spread over 21 acres and was commissioned in 1994. It receives about 2,700 tonnes of garbage per day.

Delhi Congress leaders had in June met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung regarding pollution caused by the landfill site and urged him for its closure.

"Smouldering Bhalswa land fill has not only made the air in the area toxic and highly polluted, but the underground water in the area has also been contaminated," they had said.

'Emergency situation'

Earlier in the day, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal too met environment minister Anil Dave and sought Centre’s urgent intervention to deal with the challenge.

Kejriwal likened the city to a “gas chamber” with main reason being smoke from farm fires in Punjab and Haryana and appealed to people to minimise use of vehicles.

After the meeting, Dave said he has called a meeting of environment ministers of all neighbouring states on Monday and will request them to curb stubble burning in their states as it increases level of smog in Delhi.

“There is an emergency situation in Delhi. The situation is bad, particularly for children, patients, women and elderly. We need to take immediate steps to deal with the situation,” Dave told reporters, adding he was also exploring the possbility to call a  meeting of chief ministers of all neighbouring states on the issue.

Read: Delhi's air quality oscillates between 'severe' and 'very poor' due to worst smog in 17 years

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First Published : 05 Nov 2016, 11:29:00 PM