MCD to deploy drones to survey landfill sites

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to deploy drones to map the elevation of landfills and also monitor the reduction in its height along with other parameters, officials said on Saturday.

The national capital has three landfill sites – Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla – that have turned into huge garbage mountains.

A plan in this connection has been prepared and the project will soon be implemented, they said.

They said the report of the drone survey will also be sent to the Lieutenant Governor office on a regular basis.

The move comes around a fortnight after LG Vinai Kumar Saxena visited Ghazipur landfill site and had asked MCD officials to submit a status report on their plan to raze these dumping sites.

Following LG’s instructions, the civic body had last week submitted a status report on efforts being taken to reduce the height of landfills.

The MCD has listed steps such as biomining of legacy waste and setting up of waste-to-energy plants to flatten and shut garbage dumping sites in its status report on landfills.

Frequent incidents of fire at the landfills located at the borders of the capital have also left the people living in the vicinity of the garbage mountains gasping for breath.

A senior MCD official said that the municipality is using all tools to flatten the landfill and effectively monitor the work execution.

“In our latest move, a plan has been prepared to deploy drones to measure the height of the three garbage mounds across the city and also monitor the reduction in their heights along with other parameters. The move is aimed at getting exact idea of dimensions of landfills and by what speed their heights are reducing through a number efforts being taken,” the official told PTI requesting anonymity.

He said that a similar pilot exercise was carried out a few months back which has yielded good results.

The official explained that first the height and other dimensions of the three landfill sites will be measured through drones and after each 2-3 months their dimensions will be surveyed again which will reveal exact deduction in the height of garbage dump sites.

The civic officials said the deadline to flatten the Ghazipur landfill is December 2024 while efforts are on to raze the Bhalaswa dumping site by July next year. The Okhla landfill is likely to be flattened by December 2023.

In 2019, the height of the Ghazipur landfill was 65 metres which was only eight metres less than the height of Qutub Minar.

In 2017, a portion of Ghazipur landfill had fallen on an adjacent road in which two people were killed.

Another MCD official said that proper photography and videography of these landfill sites will be done during the survey through drones.

“The project is being taken up on priority and will be executed soon. Report regarding monitoring and steps being taken to flatten the landfill sites will also be sent to the LG office on a regular basis,” the official said.

According to civic officials, the city cumulatively generates around 11,400 metric tons of garbage out of which nearly 6,200 metric tons is dumped at these three landfills.

The remaining 5,200 metric ton garbage is processed locally with the help of compactors and Waste-To-Energy (WTE) plants.

According to the civic officials, cumulatively nearly 250 lakh tonnes of legacy waste is lying at the three landfill sites which needs to be processed.

The MCD has deployed trommel machines at the three landfill sites for biomining or processing of legacy waste.

It is also setting up WTE plants to enhance the capacity of waste processing. The municipality has also been making efforts to encourage waste segregation and processing at the source.

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