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 Bandhwari dump now a massive 20 lakh tonnes

Nov 23, 2016, 01.40 AM IST

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GURGAON: The collosal mass of waste lying at the site of the defunct Bandhwari waste treatment plant has reached a stunning 20 lakh tonnes and will get unmnagable if the government does not reduce dumping there, experts warn.

"Between 2013, when the Bandhwari plant caught fire, and 2016, about 20 lakh tonnes of waste has accumulated at the site, forming a mountain 70 feet high across an area of 13 acres," said Almitra Patel, member of the Supreme Court committee for solid waste management. Who is working with MCG on Bandhwari.

According to Patel and her colleague, Raaginii Jain (solid waste management expert who has been working on treating the waste through 'bio-remediation'), in the long run, waste segregation at source is the only solution. "We need to start segregating the waste at its source. While the wet waste can be composted, it is very important that we give away our dry waste to ragpickers," Patel said.

She said ragpickers should be allowed into all condominiums in stipulated time slots. "Even though we are treating the waste in its current form, the plastic waste makes the process a bit more difficult for us and in the long run waste segregation and treatment is the only solution as no waste-to-energy plant in India has been successful in India yet," Jain said.

MCG officials said the corporation was undertaking several measures for solid waste management through segregation at source and composting of wet waste.

"We have proposed incentives in the form of property taxes for people who are undertaking composting at the individual level and RWA level to Umashankar, who is drafting the GDA policy," said T L Satyaprakash, MCG commissioner.

He, however, added that the involvement of residents was very important for the success of solid waste management in any city. While on the one hand, many societies are working to help the cause, in others, RWA members are unaware of their contractors burning waste in the open.

TOI had reported in October that the state government had decided on a model for the new sewage treatment plant at the Bandhwari site, and tenders for the project would be opened shortly. The plan is supposed to go live by 2018. Satyaprakash had later said, "While the new plant is being built, we're working with Almitra Patel to ensure minimum harm to villagers and other locals."