A beast in the city

Landfills are a simplistic solution to the mountains of garbage cities generate that needs be abandoned before they drown our cities

arun

Arun Kumar | June 14, 2018


#Garbage   #Ghazipur garbage dump   #Swachh Bharat  


It stands more than 50 metres high, belching noisome fumes, fomenting numerous methane fires, and attracting thousands of kites, an affront to any success the Swachh Bharat campaign may have achieved. The Ghazipur landfill, which absorbs about a third of the 10,000 tonnes of garbage Delhi generates daily, was in the news in September last year, when some 50 tonnes of garbage came hurtling down into the Kondli canal and the displaced water sent a few vehicles on a parallel road into a drain, leaving two people dead. Landfills are a simplistic solution to the mountains of garbage cities generate that needs be abandoned before they drown our cities.

 

ghazipur landfill

Daily 300-500 trucks dump fresh garbage at the landfill. They are moved into heaps by bulldozers on caterpillar tracks. Every time a fresh load is moved into place, gangs of rag-pickers rush in to forage for what might bring them a good day’s earnings.

ghazipur landfill

A haze of smoke fills the air, its source the spontaneous fires that break out when the methane build-up inside the garbage ignites in the heat. Sometimes there are mini-explosions. A few such explosions are believed to be responsible for the September 2017 accident.

ghazipur landfill

Unauthorised colonies have come up around the mounds of Ghazipur (right), where the poor live in squalour, forever under the shadow and threat of garbage tipping over and burying their homes. The stink and the unsanitary conditions are something they have perforce become used to.

ghazipur landfill

Rag-pickers scavenge hummocks of garbage for what might be recycled or sold for a few rupees. For them, it’s a mine from which to glean bottles, plastic scrap, the odd bits of metal. In the process, they expose themselves to all manner of disease, especially those affecting the skin and lungs.

ghazipur landfill

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis

Reform of the civil services: At home and away

The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government

The mysterious case of CBI’s legality

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i

The Evolution of Modi

Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter