National Green Tribunal has taken suo motu cognizance of a news item published in The Times of India regarding huge water contamination in the unauthorized habitations near Bhalswa, Gazipur and Okhla landfills in Delhi.
News item highlighted that huge water contamination is taking place in the unauthorized habitations near Bhalswa, Gazipur and Okhla landfills in Delhi. The colour of the Water has become yellow-orange. The aquifers have been contaminated by the leachate. One of the landfills was commissioned in the year 1990 but there has been no scientific management. The water contamination is raising serious issues of public health. The leachate is also getting discharged into the River Yamuna affecting the water quality of the river. The ground water contains heavy metals exceeding the WHO norms. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level is in the range of 510 to 3205 mg/L and there is high concentration of Chlorine Nitrate, Ammonia and Iron with pH between 7.5 and 8.5.
TOI news item says further that extent of waste accumulated is 5 million tons 2000, 2100 and 1200 metric tons is being dumped per day respectively at Bhalswa, Gazipur and Okhla landfill sites posing serious danger to the environment.
Noting that in view of the provisions of the Solid Municipal Waste Rules, 2016, the primary responsibility of managing the legacy waste and allied issues is of the Municipal Corporations concerned, Green Tribunal directed the North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations to furnish their respective action taken reports in the matter within one month.
Considering the seriousness of the matter, Tribunal also directed Commissioners of the Municipal Corporations to show their presence in person on the next date of hearing. Next date of hearing in the matter is 11th of July, 2019.
About Leachate, it is a contaminated viscous liquid that seeps and percolates through the underlying soil, contaminating the groundwater resources. It consists of inorganic and organic compounds as well as suspended particles.