To reclaim three dumping yards at Bhalswa and Ghazipur, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Wednesday directed the North, East and South civic bodies to clear the sites through bio-mining at a cost of Rs 250 crore.
A four-member bench led by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the civic bodies to start clearing garbage from October 1.
It said the progress will be reviewed after a year.
“We are suggesting a biological, operational and affordable solution rather than an engineering one (such as capping of landfill),” the bench observed.
The bench noted that some cities, which capped their dumping yards years ago, are facing the issue of leachate contaminating water bodies and groundwater.
Bio-mining model has successfully been adopted by Indore, Goa, Ahmedabad and other cities.
“At least 40-50 cities in the country have adopted it. It is cost-effective and ecologically safe,” said Asad Warsi, consultant with Swachh Bharat mission.
The NGT also decided to form a committee, comprising members from the Delhi government, DPCC, CPCB and three civic bodies, to oversee the project. The Delhi chief secretary will be the nodal officer.
The Delhi government and the municipal bodies were asked to deposit Rs 105 crore each towards the project cost. The New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Cantonment Board have to deposit Rs 20 crore each.
The counsel for EDMC argued that it is cash strapped, seeking a reduced contribution. “We will stop the salary of all civic officials if money is not deposited into the escrow account,” said Goel.