Delhi’s Ghazipur Landfill is a mountain of trash which stands to rise higher than Taj Mahal. Delhi is known for having a horrible quality of air to breathe, especially in winters, and our government implements odd-even rule to tackle with the air pollution but this pinnacle of trash still continues to pose a problem which is being overlooked.
The Ghazipur Landfill baptized as ‘The Everest of Trash’ was commissioned back in 1984 and was supposed to be decommissioned by 2002, as an average span of a landfill is said to be around 20 to 25 years. Yet, it still stands 17 feet shy of Qutub Minar – world’s tallest brick minaret. The landfill is spread over an area of 29 acres – almost the size of 40 football fields put together and it continues to rise unceasingly as hundreds of trucks still arrive with nearly 2000 tonnes of garbage adding to its already exceeding size.
Centre for Service and Environment, a non profit organisation, has claimed in a report that around 4.74 million tonnes of garbage is lying at the Ghazipur Landfill. The teeming heap of garbage is also having a negative impact on the lives of more than 3 million people living within a radius of 10 km from the landfill. Many locals complain of breathing difficulties, stomach problems etc.
In a tragic incident, due to heavy rainfall on 1 September 2017, a large portion of the Ghazipur dumpster collapsed and led to the death of 2 people. In the aftermath of the incident the authorities put a ban on dumping of garbage at the Ghazipur Landfill but it turned out to be a temporary one as the landfill reopened after the authorities couldn’t find an alternative for the dumping of garbage.
Truck drivers employed to dispose of garbage complain too about contracting diseases such as tuberculosis. Methane gas fires at the dumpsite are very common. Leachate, a black toxic liquid that causes deathly diseases such as cancer, flows into a local canal from the mountain. The landfill pollutes the local air, groundwater and poses a serious threat to the 2.5 km away ‘Sanjay Lake’ and the already dying ‘Yamuna Lake’ which is nearly 7 km away.
With most nations implementing an efficient and productive waste management scheme as well as identifying environmental degradation and climate change as a menace to human life, we need to confront the issue of increasing global risk rather than breaking records by generating big trash heaps.
Saher Hiba Khan is a student pursuing Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
edited by: Rutba Iqbal & Yusuf Aziz
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.