Delhi CM miffed as waste removal work at Okhla landfill ‘lagging’ behind target

- October 4, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The Okhla site, hosting a staggering 45 lakh tonnes of waste, initiated the removal process in November of the previous year

Collectors at Okhla landfill rest on a garbage hill NEW DELHI produces over 9000 tonnes of waste each day. Close to 50% of this waste is segregated and transported by the more than 500,000 waste pickers that dwell within the city. Being one of the largest, Delhis waste-picking community actually has a massive proportion of children below 14 doing this work as well. PHOTOGRAPHY BY Shams Qari / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Shams Qari / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal conducted a visit to the Okhla landfill site on Wednesday, expressing concern that the progress in processing and removing waste from the expansive dump was lagging behind the initially projected target.

In his interaction with reporters, the chief minister disclosed the Delhi government’s consideration to enlist the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) “as an agency” to execute mechanical sweeping and cleaning operations on roads falling within the purview of the Public Works Department (PWD) and the civic body.

Kejriwal’s inspection of the Okhla landfill site followed a recent visit to assess the ongoing work at the Bhalswa landfill site. The Okhla site, hosting a staggering 45 lakh tonnes of waste, initiated the removal process in November of the previous year. The initial goal was to eliminate 30 lakh tonnes by May 2024, as explained by Kejriwal. However, the chief minister expressed disappointment, stating that only 12 lakh tonnes had been removed so far, falling short of the intended progress of 18 lakh tonnes.

Attributing the delay to various factors, Kejriwal announced the initiation of the process to engage another agency to expedite the work, as the current agency struggled to meet the established target. The absence of the standing committee of the MCD, entangled in legal matters, poses an obstacle. Kejriwal remains optimistic that once the committee is in place, both agencies can collaborate to achieve the anticipated target.

Despite the challenges, Kejriwal affirmed the commitment of the Delhi government and the MCD to address the mounting garbage crisis. He revealed that a visit was made to the Bhalswa site the previous week.

Responding to questions regarding a study on nanoparticles and pollution in Delhi, Kejriwal acknowledged the findings and announced plans for mechanical sweeping and cleaning on PWD roads. Additionally, the chief minister shared that a Cabinet note for hiring the MCD as an agency was ready, with implementation expected in the coming weeks. The MCD would commence operations by first sweeping roads under the PWD, spanning 1,480 km, and subsequently addressing MCD-managed roads.

(With PTI inputs)