New Delhi [India], Nov. 5 : Waking up to the deteriorating air quality in New Delhi after the National Green Tribunal(NGT) reprimanded the Delhi Government for its lacklustre response, state Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Friday visited the Bhalswa Landfill to inspect the dumping site which has been the major contributor to air pollution.
The 40 acre trash mountain, located near the G.T. Karnal Road, receives about 2,700 tonnes of garbage per day. It caters to more than 50 per cent of Delhi's population. "This landfill is the major contributor to air pollution, where piled up garbage are often on fire. If you see here, there are some places where certain spots are still burning," Jain said. He said the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are jointly working out a plan to dispose excess garbage and douse flames.
"MCD is working tirelessly to douse the flames here, they have asked for 10-12 days. Around 50-60 percent of these garbage would later be used to construct roads and the rest would be used in waste energy plant," he said.
Seeking his response on the NGT's accusation on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government for "shifting blame" and not taking proper steps to curb pollution, Jain said, "I am not here to comment about that, I am here to resolve the issue." Dubbing the situation similar to an "emergency," the NGT observed that the Delhi government, the Centre and other officials have been apathetic to the rising air pollution level.
The tribunal also reiterated its directive to the Delhi government to stop diesel vehicles of over 10 years old from plying in the national capital and slammed the government for non-compliance.
The NGT has now summoned the environment secretaries of Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to present an action plan on November 8, when the panel meets next.