MCD deploys drones to survey landfills

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

The national capital has three landfills – Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla – that have turned into huge heaps of waste.

A plan in this regard has been drawn up and the project will be implemented soon, they said.

They said the report of the drone investigation will also be sent regularly to the lieutenant governor’s office.

The move comes about two weeks after LG Vinai Kumar Saxena visited the landfill in Ghazipur and asked MCD officials to submit a status report on their plan to raze these landfills.

Following LG’s instructions, the municipality last week filed a status report on efforts to reduce the height of landfills.

The MCD has listed steps such as biomining old waste and setting up waste-to-energy plants to flatten and close landfills in its landfill status report.

Frequent fire incidents at the landfills on the outskirts of the capital have also left people gasping for breath near the heaps of waste.

A senior MCD official said the municipality is using all means to flatten the landfill and effectively monitor the work being carried out.

“In our last step, a plan has been drawn up to deploy drones to measure the height of the three garbage mounds in the city and also to monitor the reduction of their height along with other parameters. The move is intended to give an exact idea of ​​the size of landfills and at what rate their height is declining through a number of efforts,” the official told PTI, asking for anonymity.

He said a similar pilot exercise was conducted a few months ago and has yielded good results.

The official explained that first the height and other dimensions of the three landfills will be measured by drones and after every 2-3 months their dimensions will be re-examined, which will reveal an exact deduction of the height of the landfills.

The civil officials said the deadline to flatten the landfill in Ghazipur is December 2024, while efforts are underway to raze the landfill in Bhalaswa by July next year. The Okhla landfill is likely to have leveled off by December 2023.

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

In 2017, part of the Ghazipur landfill had fallen into an adjacent road, killing two people.

Another MCD official said good photography and videography of these landfills will be done during the investigation using drones.

“The project is being taken up as a matter of priority and will be implemented shortly. Report regarding monitoring and measures being taken to level the landfills will also be sent regularly to the LG office,” the official said.

According to officials, the city cumulatively generates about 11,400 tons of waste, of which nearly 6,200 tons are dumped in these three landfills.

The remaining 5,200 tons of waste are processed locally using compactors and Waste-To-Energy (WTE) installations.

According to the officials, there is cumulatively close to 250 lakh tons of old waste in the three landfills to be treated.

The MCD has deployed drum machines at the three landfills for biomining or processing old waste.

It is also setting up WTE plants to increase waste handling capacity. The municipality is also committed to encouraging waste separation and processing at source.

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