NEW DELHI, Nov 9 (PTI): Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday alleged that the BJP-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has taken out garbage from the Ghazipur landfill site and dumped it in nearby areas to “give an impression” that its height has come down.
Interacting with reporters after visiting the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi, he also said the people will vote for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming municipal polls to clear the “garbage of the BJP”, and if the Arvind Kejriwal-led party comes to power in the MCD, it will make the “mountains” of trash disappear from the city in five years.
“For 15 years, the BJP which has ruled the MCD, and what has it done to reduce these mountains of garbage. And, now just to give an impression to people, from a distance, that the height of the Ghazipur landfill has come down, the BJP-led MCD has taken garbage from it and dumped it in nearby areas. This is a conspiracy,” Sisodia alleged, adding that the saffron party “lacks the intention to solve the problem”.
“Six months ago, these places were all empty. And a wall collapsed here due to this dumping. Thankfully, it happened at night, when no work was going on, else there would have been loss of life and property too,” he told reporters.
Children live in an ashram located near the site of the wall collapse, they narrowly escaped this incident, he claimed.
MCD Director (Press and Information), Amit Kumar, when contacted by PTI, countered the allegation, saying, “It is not true”.
“The MCD has already disposed of 77 lakh MT of legacy waste from three landfill sites. The space getting emptied by continuous disposal of legacy waste is being replaced by the legacy waste, from the height above. The waste from above is brought to the locations of trommel machines for bio-remediation,” he said.
This spreading out of legacy waste to trommel machines “cannot be termed as dumping to nearby areas”, he said. The MCD workers and engineers have been sweating it out to reduce the height and flatten the landfill. It does no good to “trifle the good work done in this regard,” he added.
Politics over the landfill sites is heating up ahead of the December 4 civic polls in the national capital.
Chief minister Kejriwal himself is an engineer and makes meticulous plans, Sisodia said, adding that a plan has also been made to clear these “mountains of garbage” and the trash piled up in other parts of Delhi.
If the AAP comes to power in the MCD, “all mountains of garbage in Delhi will disappear in five years. We have a plan”, Sisodia said when asked about a timeline.
Talking to reporters at the site, the deputy chief minister reiterated the AAP’s allegation that “16 new landfill sites have been planned”, a claim that has been vehemently denied by the MCD.
Sisodia took a round of the area on the periphery of the Ghazipur landfill site and spoke to some locals, who shared their woes with him — the problem of clean drinking water and a pungent smell emanating out of the landfill.
“Do not worry. Bring the AAP in the MCD too and we will address all the problems of people,” he said.
Asked about the BJP’s accusation that the AAP is showing disrespect to sanitation workers with its politics over garbage, Sisodia said the saffron party has been ruling the MCD for nearly 15 years and the sanitation workers have suffered under it due to pending salaries and other issues. When the AAP comes to power in the civic body, it will give them salaries on time and also make their lives better, he asserted.
Sisodia was accompanied by AAP’s MCD polls in-charge Durgesh Pathak.
Pathak accused the BJP on Tuesday of trying to “widen the spread of the garbage at the Ghazipur landfill site” and alleged that “a huge part of the garbage mountain fell on the houses of those living in the nearby areas”.
Rejecting the claim, the MCD issued a statement on Tuesday, saying, “A false information is doing the rounds that a part of the garbage mountain in Ghazipur collapsed. A small portion of the wall of the Waste-to-Energy plant at Ghazipur collapsed and immediate action has been taken to restore the same.”
The BJP has been in power in the MCD — trifurcated in 2012 into north, south and east corporations and then unified this year — for three straight terms. The high-stakes civic polls are largely being seen as a three-way contest among the AAP, the BJP and the Congress.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters here that Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann should visit the garbage dumps in his state together with Kejriwal and Sisodia to find out why they were not removed. “The Kejriwal government did not provide funds to the municipal corporations in Delhi. The cities cannot function if the municipal corporations there are weakened systematically. Garbage mountains in Delhi are legacy issues inherited by the BJP when it ran municipal corporations,” she said.
The Kejriwal government “did not provide the funds” needed to tackle the garbage at landfill sites. They did not even implement the Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations to provide funds to the corporations, she alleged.