Who makes the national capital dirty?

The national capital, where Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan saw the light of day, houses some of the most overly saturated, stinking, simmering landfills, reports TEHELKA BUREAU


Despite it being the national capital, Delhi is one of the filthiest cities in the country. The biggest problem is the amount of garbage that it generates on a daily basis. There are some landfill sites that have taken the shape of a mountain; so much of garbage has been dumped there and the process is on.

The solid waste situation in the capital has swiftly moved from being a non-issue to a crisis. The capital generates more than 9,000 tonnes of waste everyday. The figure is not an astounding one for a metropolitan city, but the bone of contention is the treatment of this waste.

Interestingly, 60 per cent of the total waste is organic — which essentially means that it can be treated at home. The problem, as per the experts, is when the waste reaches the landfills. Delhi has three such sites, now turned into man-made mountains of garbage. Bhalswa landfill site in North Delhi is the newest addition to the city’s garbage dumps. In operation since 2011, the site was added to two others that long ago reached full capacity — Ghazipur in the East and Bawana in Outer Delhi.

There are three factors that are making  the Delhi garbage story more filthy. The first is ignorance — both at the end of the people and administration. Second is space issue and third is the ever-growing population. The 24 million residents in the capital produce 65 per cent of the waste.

The onus of Delhi heading for a waste crisis lies on the key stakeholders of the city. The lax attitude of the Centre and state governments, bureaucracy and the general pubiic. Every one has to do his bit to make and keep the national capital clean.