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India’s ‘Trash Mountain’ to overtake Taj Mahal by 2020

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News Desk |

The predicament of pollution in India will exacerbate as the country’s largest garbage site in Ghazipur has reached its capacity and will overtake the size of Taj Mahal in the next twelve months.

The heaps of garbage piled at the trash site, known as the ‘Trash Mountain’ or ‘Mount Everest of trash’, is gradually becoming a threat for aircraft and jets flying above. The Trash Mountain rises by 10 meters each year. It is estimated to be 213 feet tall, only a few feet behind the Taj Mahal, which is measured to be 239 feet tall.

Tnstead of blaming neighbouring Pakistan for the ongoing heat-wave, India needs to ratify the internal contributors to its environmental damage.

The gigantic garbage site in ‘Ghazipur’ outside New Delhi, with a capacity tantamount to 40 football fields, was opened in 1984 and had already reached its capacity in 2002. Hundreds of trucks arrive each day and approximately 2000 tons of garbage is dumped at the site.

Last year, the Supreme Court of India issued an order to place a warning red light near Trash Mountain for aircraft in the area. The government of India had temporarily closed the site in 2018 after heavy rainfalls which caused landslides killing two people. The dumping site was reopened after failure to find an alternative site, since 21 million people from New Delhi rely on the disposal site.

Read more: India pollution watchdog fines Delhi over toxic smog

Health Hazards of the Ghazipur dumping site

The Ghazipur dumping site is exacerbating the health of many residents and damaging the environment. People in the surrounding areas have often complained that breathing near the site is difficult due to emissions of methane gas produced from the garbage into the atmosphere. The fumes often spark from the fire which takes several days to extinguish. Lech ante, a black toxic liquid from Trash Mountain, discharges into a nearby canal.

People living kilometers near the dumping site have complained about health problems, such as breathing, stomach discomfort and are on a higher risk of contracting life-threatening diseases like Cancer.

The heaps of garbage piled at the trash site, known as the ‘Trash Mountain’ or ‘Mount Everest of trash’, is gradually becoming a threat for aircraft and jets flying above.

The report issued by the US Environmental protection agency identified the problems of improper waste disposal practices, animals search from the disposed off material and informal sector waste recyclers at the site.

A petition has been filed by the residents and signed by almost 17,000 people to call for immediate closure of the site. The petition complains of the contamination the site has caused to the air, land and water of the area. It also details the extreme health hazards countered by the people.

Read more: Taj Mahal in decay: Paying the price of India’s pollution

Environmental Pollution in India

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report released in 2016, 14 of the world’s 20 dirtiest cities were in India. Three years later, the same report, published by WHO in 2019, stated that 7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India.

The fumes often spark from the fire which takes several days to extinguish.

The consistently high proportion of India in the list of polluted cities heralds the growing environmental risk. The increasing development and efforts of the government is falling short in controlling the environmental catastrophe.

The WHO report identified the depleting tree covers, poor solid waste management, vehicular emissions, crop burning and generation of dust particles from construction sites were the major reasons for declining air quality in India. Prolonged spells of smog in India during winters is one such example.

Hence, instead of blaming neighbouring Pakistan for the ongoing heat-wave, India needs to ratify the internal contributors to its environmental damage.