Delhi MC to probe landfill fire incident in Ghazipur : The Tribune India

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Delhi MC to probe landfill fire incident in Ghazipur

Gopal Rai seeks environment department report, action plan

Delhi MC to probe landfill  fire incident in Ghazipur

Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi, along with East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Kuldeep Kumar and others, at the Ghazipur landfill site, where a fire broke out, in New Delhi on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, April 22

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi will launch an inquiry into the fire that broke out at the Ghazipur landfill site on Sunday. Besides, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday sought a detailed report from the Principal Secretary, Environment and Forest, on the fire incident.

Dry, hot conditions to blame: Officials

  • The Delhi Police have registered a case under Sections 278 (creating an atmosphere noxious to health) and 436 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC
  • Officials attribute the fire to dry and hot conditions. Even after firefighters managed to douse the flames later in the day, smoke continued to emanate from the mountainous pile of garbage

Situation has worsened

The people of Delhi have been hearing promises about cleaning the Ghazipur landfill site since 2017, but the situation has only worsened. — Virendra Sachdeva, Delhi BJP chief

On Sunday, a significant fire broke out at one of the Capital’s three garbage dumping sites. Fire officials were promptly summoned to extinguish the blaze; however, it persisted until Monday morning. Rai has requested a report to be submitted within 48 hours.

The incident led to a significant increase in air pollution in the surrounding areas, raising concerns among residents and environmentalists.

Officials attributed the fire to dry and hot conditions. Even after firefighters managed to douse the flames later in the day, smoke continued to emanate from the mountainous pile of garbage.

The Delhi Police have registered a case under Sections 278 (creating an atmosphere noxious to health) and 436 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.

Rai has instructed the authorities to include in the report the cause of the fire, immediate actions taken to suppress it and compliance with previous guidelines aimed at preventing such incidents in the future. Additionally, he has called for an action plan to address challenges during the ongoing summer season.

Cabinet Minister Atishi said fire tenders remained active in Ghazipur throughout the night, successfully extinguishing the fire. Although the flames have been quelled, some residual smoke persists, which is expected to dissipate soon.

On Monday, Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva and AAP’s East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate and current MLA from Kondli Kuldeep Kumar also visited the location.

“We will certainly conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire, the individuals responsible and the circumstances leading to its ignition,” Atishi affirmed.

The BJP leaders raised alarms about the fire’s impact on the local environment and public health. Addressing the media at the site, Sachdeva criticised the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government and the Municipal Corporation for their alleged negligence and failure to address the landfill issue despite repeated promises. “The people of Delhi have been hearing promises about cleaning the Ghazipur landfill site since 2017, but the situation has only worsened,” he remarked.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Sachdeva pointed out the lack of preparedness and delay in response from authorities when the fire was first reported.

“The absence of adequate firefighting measures and equipment further exacerbated the situation, leading to widespread pollution,” he added.

Opposition leader Raja Iqbal Singh highlighted equipment deficiencies at the landfill site, stating that out of the 25 trommel machines present, 13 are reportedly faulty, causing disruptions in waste disposal activities.

Expressing deep concern over the health hazards arising from the fire, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh Lovely called for immediate action to tackle the situation.

“The massive fire at the landfill has become a significant health hazard for the people of Delhi. Toxic fumes are still emanating from the site, necessitating urgent coordination between the Central Government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to douse the fire,” said Lovely.

A local resident, Parvez, recounted that the fire began two days prior, escalating on Sunday, causing discomfort for children and the elderly due to the smoke.

Another resident, Dilkhush, voiced his concerns, stating, “This is not a new phenomenon; fires have occurred before, and we’ve lodged complaints with the authorities, but they have been ignored. Sometimes, garbage debris even reaches our homes, and the unpleasant odour is a constant issue.”

The landfill had previously experienced a blaze in June last year, with fire incidents also reported at the site in 2022. In 2017, a portion of the landfill collapsed onto an adjacent road, resulting in two fatalities.

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