After Ghazipur, NCR witnesses 2nd landfill fire at Bandhwari : The Tribune India

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After Ghazipur, NCR witnesses 2nd landfill fire at Bandhwari

Methane combustion likely cause behind frequent fires during summer

After Ghazipur, NCR witnesses 2nd landfill fire at Bandhwari

Smoke rises after a fire broke out at the Bandhwari landfill site in Gurugram. Tribune Photo



Tribune News Service

Sumedha Sharma

Gurugram, April 23

A day after a fire incident was reported at the Ghazipur landfill site in Delhi, a massive fire broke at the Bandhwari landfill site in Gurugram.

Concerns over impact on Aravallis

Fire incidents at Bandhwari landfill are quite common during summers because the authorities don’t give two hoots about the Solid Waste Management Rules. For them, it’s a simple fire, but it damages the entire ecosystem of the Aravallis, which are already fragile.

The only solution is to monitor waste disposal and ensure that everyone is following rules and regulations at the site. — Vaishali Rana, Environmental Activist

According to officials, a fire was first reported around 5 pm on Monday. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the blaze was doused by 3 am on Tuesday.

However, around 5 am, the fire reignited on a more massive scale than the initial incident and it could only be doused by around 5 pm. At least 10 fire tenders and 35 fire fighters were sent to the spot from Faridabad, Pataudi, Manesar and Gurugram.

City residents took to social media to share videos of the mound of garbage burning at the landfill as stench and smoke filled the air.

It might be noted that this is the fourth incident of fire to be reported from the Bandhwari landfill this month and videos of the latest incident have been widely shared on social media platforms.

“Fire incidents at Bandhwari landfill are quite common during summers because the authorities don’t give two hoots about the Solid Waste Management Rules,” alleged city-based environmental activist Vaishali Rana.

Rana explained that the high temperatures cause organic matter present in the waste to decompose more rapidly. This phenomenon leads to the emission of greater quantities of methane, which under enough pressure and oxygen intrusion into the landfill, combust spontaneously.

The activist said such fire incidents cause inconvenience to the residents. However, she asserted, “For them, it’s a simple fire, but it damages the entire ecosystem of the Aravallis, which are already very fragile. The only solution is to monitor waste disposal and ensure that everyone is following rules and regulations at the site.”

Gulshan Kalra, Deputy Director (technical), Haryana Fire Services, also held the emission and consequent combustion of methane produced at the landfill as a potential reason behind the fire.

“Combustion of methane may have caused the fire, as there is a higher concentration of the gas at the site. Besides, this is not the first time that a fire has been reported from the site. Fire incidents are regularly reported from the landfill during summers,” he said.

However, he admitted that the exact cause behind the fire was not yet ascertained. “There are also possibilities that someone may have thrown a cigarette butt or any chemical that led to the fire incident,” he said.

Naresh Kumar, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Gurugram, led the team at the spot and helped the fire fighters to douse the blaze. He said in view of rising temperatures, an enquiry would be conducted to identify and resolve the reason behind fires at the site.

A major fire in 2013 had caused the Bandhwari waste management plant to become defunct. But since then, the municipal bodies of Gurugram and Faridabad have continued to dump over 1,000 tonnes of untreated garbage at the site every day.

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