Fire doused at Ghazipur landfill site, political sparks fly ahead of Delhi Mayor elections

New Delhi, Apr 22 (IANS): After a gruelling 14-hour battle, firefighters managed to extinguish the flames at the Ghazipur landfill site, a key waste disposal area in the capital. The fire department confirmed the successful dousing of the inferno on Monday.

"However, the operation is ongoing to ensure complete cooling and prevent any potential reignition," said a senior Delhi Fire Services (DFS) official, adding that the fire broke out at the site on Sunday at 5:22 p.m.

While the immediate threat of the fire has been averted, the political atmosphere surrounding the incident is heating up.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has seized upon the opportunity to amplify the issue, just days ahead of the highly anticipated Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections scheduled on April 26.

Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva, along with MCD opposition leader Sardar Raja Iqbal Singh also visited the Ghazipur landfill site this morning and said that Delhi residents have continuously witnessed and heard the Arvind Kejriwal government and party talking about the Ghazipur landfill site from 2017 to 2022.

Sachdeva said that once the Chief Minister even inspected the landfill site with great pomp and declared that Delhiites would give them the power of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and they have a plan to clean not only the Ghazipur landfill site but also the Bhalswa and Okhla landfill sites by December 31, 2023.

Sachdeva said that everyone knows that there is pressure from various gases at the landfill site, even a small fire spreads a large amount of air pollution, but the Delhi government, MCD, contrary to the big announcements before 2022, did not even clean the landfill site -- instead, they have created a third new mountain of garbage there.

Sachdeva demanded that the Delhi government should clarify who is responsible for Sunday's accident -- why was there no arrangement to fight the gas fire here?

Reacting to BJP allegations, MCD Mayor Shelly Oberoi said: "I was not in Delhi yesterday but as soon as I came to know about the fire, I instructed all the officials to take stock of the situation and control the fire. The situation is now under control, the situation will be completely under control in 4-5 hours. After controlling the fire, we will investigate it. This is not the time to do politics, if BJP is doing this, then it is very condemnable."

In 2021, municipal authorities disclosed that the city collectively produces approximately 11,400 metric tonnes of waste, with almost 6,200 metric tonnes being deposited across three landfills: Ghazipur, Okhla, and Bhalswa.

As per the data submitted by MCD to the state Environment Department in January this year, the frequency of fires at Delhi's three major waste disposal sites has significantly decreased over the past five years.

According to the data, there were 159 fire incidents recorded at the three landfill sites in 2017, which decreased to 120 in 2018, 48 in 2019, eight each in 2020 and 2021, five in 2022, and only one in 2023.



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Title: Fire doused at Ghazipur landfill site, political sparks fly ahead of Delhi Mayor elections

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