The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) is going to form an expert committee that shall ascertain the impact of the landfill sites in Delhi on the health of women and children living in their vicinity as well as the MCD sanitation workers at the landfill.
Regarding this, the Committee shall submit a report to the Government on this issue. On 25 April, a massive fire had broken out at the landfill site at Bhalswa Dairy, Delhi.
The incident caused several poisonous gasses to engulf nearby residential areas, leading to a terrible and disastrous situation having extreme adverse health and environmental impact.
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal issued summons to Commissioner, North MCD on 29 April seeking a detailed report on the incident.
Senior officials from MCD had appeared before the Commission and provided the sought information.
“The Commission has learnt that till date, North MCD hardly conducted any study for scientific and environment-friendly disposal of the waste generated in Delhi and for clearing the landfill site,” said DCW in a press statement.
Only one study was conducted by MCD for capping the Bhalswa dumpsite by engaging a consultant in association with IIT Delhi at an expenditure of Rs 1.95 Crore.
According to the DCW, till date, North MCD has not conducted any study or investigation to assess the impact on the health and socio-economic condition of the residents living in the vicinity of the site or its own workers, especially women working in the landfill sites.
“The Commission is issuing notices to the unified MCD seeking similar details regarding other landfill sites as well,” said a DCW spokesperson.
The spokesperson further said, “While the Commission shall continue its investigation in the matter, it is also initiating a study on the health impact of the growing landfills in the Capital on the women and children living in the vicinity as well as the MCD sanitation workers and shall seek help from health, environment and social experts for the same.”
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal stated, “Prima facie, we have observed that North MCD has adopted a callous attitude when dealing with a sensitive issue as the growing landfills in the Capital.”
“People are living around the landfill sites for many years. They are forced to live in a hell-like situation and their health is severely impacted due to the same,” she said.
Maliwal also added, “Its very disturbing to note that unified and North MCD did not make any efforts whatsoever for cleaning the landfill site until an NGT order in 2019! Further, despite the expenditure of Rs 70 Crore, landfills continue to be in a worse situation every day. Also, MCD never bothered to conduct any study on solid waste management or the health impact of the landfills. In fact, its answer to the problem seems to be to simply evict the people from their homes who have been living around the dumpsite for several years. The Commission shall conduct an in-depth study on this issue and give a report to the Government.”