Serious violation by the Okhla Waste-to-energy plant (disease and disaster plant)
Okhla Waste-to-Energy plant- another Bhopal disaster in the making.
The Okhla WtE plant was commissioned in the face of public interest litigation field by residents months before the foundation stone was laid in July 2010. Through lies and deception both in court and outside, a highly toxic industry is being run in the heart of South Delhi.
The plant burns 2,000 tonnes of unsegregated waste daily, using cheap Chinese equipment and makes profits at the cost of public health-in policies that resulted in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
Environmental clearance given for converting waste into refuse derived fuel (RDF) was switched to allow the factory to directly burn waste, endangering the lives 10 lakh people.
The plant is located on a green area in Zone F7 of the Delhi Master Plan, meant for a community park. The Master Plan does not provide for WtE incinerators, anyway.
The plant occupies some 20 acres of prime land in South Delhi, the bulk of which is not covered by change-in-land-use notification as required under the DDAAct.
WtE plants must be located in industrial zones and maintained a 500-meter distance from residences, according to the rules. But the Okhla WtE is just 45 meters away.
World Health Organisation guidelines say that waste incinerators should be located at least one kilometer away from human habitation. This is consistent with Indian’s industrial siting norms.
WtE plants are to be located close to existing landfills, but the Okhla plant is eight kilometers away from the Tughlaqabad dump, necessitating transport of toxic ash along the Mathura Road.
Apart form having to put up with toxic emissions, ash, noise and odor, residents live in constant fear of the plant’s pressure boilers exploding.
During periodic inspections the operator was found to have dispensed with the use of activated charcoal, necessary to filter out highly toxic dioxins and furans– and mercury.
The plant burns from the NDMC area which has land and resources but does not want to deal with its own waste in NIMBY policy. instead, South Delhi residents suffer.