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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

9 days on, Delhi’s Bhalswa landfill still on fire, DFS says longest operation yet

The Delhi Fire Services said this is one of the longest operations as most fires, including ones at landfills, are doused in two-five days.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 5, 2022 10:54:31 am
Fire, Bhalswa landfill site, North Delhi, fire department, fire tenders, Delhi news, delhi latest news, New Delhi, Indian ExpressBhalswa Landfill, in New Delhi. (EXPRESS PHOTO BY PRAVEEN KHANNA)

Nearly nine days after a major fire broke out at the Bhalswa landfill, firefighters continued to douse the fire on Wednesday. The Delhi Fire Services said this is one of the longest operations as most fires, including ones at landfills, are doused in two-five days.

While there are fewer fire tenders now, firemen have been working round the clock at the site. A senior fire official posted in Outer Delhi said, “The land is simply unapproachable. The garbage mounds are tall and unstable. It would be risky to move around and douse the fire. The fire will keep spreading and erupting unless we dig deeper and move garbage but that’s not possible because the whole structure might collapse on us.”

The fire broke out on April 26 and more than 30 fire tenders and 200 firemen have been working at the spot in the last week to control the fire. Gyaan Sarovar School, which is near the landfill, was shut for days because a few windowpanes in classrooms had melted and smoke engulfed the area. Residents too complained of toxic fumes from the landfill.

Reducing the height of Delhi’s landfills

DFS Chief Atul Garg had earlier said that four fire tenders, excavators and trucks are working at the site. “The weather poses a big challenge for us. Firefighters find it difficult to wear masks and protective gear because of the heat but we have to protect ourselves from toxic fumes. At present, two fire tenders are working 24×7 to control the blaze,” said Garg.

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The MCDs have also sent two-three dumper trucks and excavators to remove the garbage mounds and douse small fires at the landfill.

A fireman working at the spot said, “We break down parts of garbage mounds using the excavators and water down the parts. The only issue is that the fire is deep inside, and we can’t reach those parts. Trucks are called to also get water to douse the fire.”

The fire is expected to be doused by Thursday-Friday, said the DFS.

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