Rise in temperature causes fire at Ghazipur landfill site

fire at ghazipur landfill
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NEW DELHI: On March 31, 2019, a part of the Ghazipur landfill site was on fire for approximately 10 hours, due to which the areas near the landfill site were surrounded by thick smoke.

Although the fire was controlled, but as per a senior EDMC official, such incidents tend to rise with the increasing temperature. The fire was due to the generation of methane gas on decomposition of organic matter in the landfill. The landfill site reached its saturation point in 2002 but no alternate site is allocated yet.

According to a fire officer, it becomes more challenging to fight fire at such landfill sites every year due to the rise in frequency of these fire and increasing height of landfill sites. Many times the vehicles get stuck and freeing them becomes a bigger problem.

Presently, Delhi produces about 10,000MT of garbage every day, which is dumped at three landfill sites in the city. The Bhalswa and Ghazipur sites are over 50-60m which is almost 10-storey high and decomposition of organic garbage produces combustible methane gas, which often catches fire. 

Apart from being an indicator of severe waste management crisis, the capital’s  landfill sites also contribute significantly to air pollution. The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) data showed that Delhi witnessed a landfill fire on almost every third day, last year. The fire department received 131 distress calls with Bhalswa being the biggest contributor to toxic fume followed by Okhla and Ghazipur.  

Allocation of a new site for a waste processing facility in Ghonda Gujran saw protests from locals. The corporations argue that with no new site being allocated, establishing new waste-to-energy plants are the only way out. 

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