Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited Bhalswa landfill site on Saturday and said about 45 lakh tonnes of waste from it is expected to be processed and reduced by May next year. Interacting with reporters at the site, Kejriwal said once 45 lakh tonnes of waste gets reduced, “35 acres of land” will be reclaimed, which can be reused in multiple ways.
There are three landfill sites in Delhi, located at Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur. Kejriwal said Bhalswa landfill site has about 60-65 lakh tonnes of municipal waste spread over 72 acres, and besides legacy waste, 2,000 tonnes of fresh waste is getting added daily to the massive dump.
“The goal was to remove approximately 30 lakh tonnes of trash from the Bhalswa landfill site within the next 18 months. By September 30, 2023, the target was to remove around 14 lakh tonnes of garbage. I am delighted to report that the work of clearing trash is progressing much faster than the set target. Not only has the goal of removing 14 lakh tonnes of garbage by September been achieved, but more garbage has been cleared than the target specified. By September, the Bhalswa landfill site had cleared 18 lakh tonnes of garbage instead of the designated 14 lakh tones,” Kejriwal said.
The chief minister said the target for the agency working on the waste processing at Bhalswa landfill site is to reduce waste by 30 lakh tonnes by May 15, 2024.
“But, given the speed of work, about 45 lakh tonne waste is expected to be reduced by May 15 next year," he said.
The Chief Minister mentioned that the agency responsible for garbage removal has been given a target to remove 30 lakh tonnes of garbage by May 15, 2024. The pace at which the agency is working is expected to result in the removal of 45 lakh tonnes of garbage by May 15, 2024, instead of the initially set 30 lakh tonnes. It is reported that approximately 60 to 65 lakh tonnes of garbage are at the Bhalswa landfill site. In addition to this, the site receives about 2,000 tonnes of new garbage daily. The process of hiring another agency is underway so that both agencies can work together to completely clear the Bhalswa landfill site.
In a statement, the AAP government said that during this visit, the Chief Minister found that garbage was being removed from the Bhalswa landfill site faster than the set target.
For processing the balance waste, another agency is to be hired, initial work for which has been completed, but the tendering process is getting stalled as the process has to get through the standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The MCD panel will be formed as per the directions of the Supreme Court, “so, we are trying” to find an alternative solution, he said. Kejriwal further explained that when the current agency clears 45 lakh tonnes of garbage by May 15 next year, approximately 35 acres of land here will be vacant. Once all the garbage is cleared, there will be a significant amount of available land.
The chief minister said he will also visit the other two landfill sites very soon. During the visit, Kejriwal was accompanied by Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi, Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, Leader of House in MCD, Mukesh Goyal and AAP's MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak.
Delhi Mayor Dr Shelly Oberai informed the media that the process of appointing an additional agency for this is in its final stages. “Delhi will be freed from garbage mountains ahead of schedule”, she added.