Human waste discarded mid-air by a passing aircraft led to some confusion — and comedy — at Gurgaon’s Fazilpur Badli village on Saturday. As the human waste landed in a field with a thud, many residents mistook it for a meteor and claimed it came “shooting out of the sky”. Not long after, a team of scientists rushed to the spot — only to confirm that it was, in fact, faeces.
The incident comes 10 days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to issue circulars to all airlines reiterating its December 20, 2016, order. The order had emphasised that airlines will have to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 if they discard human waste or empty their toilet tanks mid-air.
The reiteration came while the NGT disposed a plea filed by a south Delhi resident, who had alleged that his home was being splattered with faeces as aircraft get rid of waste mid-air, prior to landing at the Delhi airport.
Balwan, who owns the land where the “flying object” landed, said he “heard” it falling into his field around 8 am. “It came out of the sky, sounding exactly like an airplane. Before I could ascertain what it was, it landed in my field,” he said.
As a crowd began gathering at the spot, Balwan called the sarpanch, Govind Singh, who in turn alerted the Farrukhnagar police station. “I rushed to the spot and saw the object… It seemed to weigh at least 8 or 10 kg, judging by the dent it had made in the ground. Initially, we thought it could be ice but it was not melting. So we figured it must have some kind of chemical in it… We were uncertain if it was safe to touch, so I called up the SHO at Farrukhnagar police station, who arrived at the spot with his team,” Singh said.
Inspector Karan Singh, the SHO of the police station, said, “I received a call at 9 am from the sarpanch, who told me that some ‘ice’ seemed to have landed in the fields. It looked like ice even to me, but I alerted higher officials, and called in the crime team and a senior medical officer’s team to the spot for investigation.”
In the hours that followed, a team of scientists from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) was summoned and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was alerted.
“The unidentified object crashed with a thud early this morning. The IMD sent a team of scientists to collect samples, and we also informed the NDMA,” said Vivek Kalia, Estate Officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon.
It was only after the team of scientists reached the spot late afternoon that the “meteor” was found to be waste discarded from a passing aircraft. Confirming this, Kalia said, “The object has been identified as human excreta dumped by an aircraft.”
According to an aviation expert, “human waste that leaks or is discarded from the sewage system of an airplane at a height usually turns to ice in the time that it takes to reach the ground, due to the low temperatures that prevail at that height”.