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22 Apr, 2024 09:37

Massive fire erupts at Delhi’s ‘mount of shame’ (VIDEOS)

The Ghazipur landfill east of the Indian capital is considered one of the largest and most hazardous dumping sites in the country
Massive fire erupts at Delhi’s ‘mount of shame’ (VIDEOS)

The Ghazipur landfill site in New Delhi, known as India’s ‘mount of shame’ or the ‘Mount Everest of trash,’ caught fire on Sunday evening, local media have reported.

At least eight fire brigades were called to the scene to battle the blaze with the help of five excavators from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Footage posted online overnight showed one side of the massive dump site completely engulfed in flames.

According to reports, the fire broke out at the rear end of the landfill, adjacent to a fish market where a new pop-up dumping ground recently appeared. Numerous residents living close to the site complained of respiratory problems due to thick smoke that engulfed the area from the blaze.

According to Delhi Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, the fire may have been caused by heat and dry weather. However, the Delhi Fire Service reported that methane gas generated within the gigantic trash pile was more likely the cause of the blaze. The greenhouse gas, produced by decaying organic waste, is extremely flammable.

Authorities have launched a probe into the incident.

Reports from the area early on Monday claimed the fire had been largely brought under control but was still burning in several locations, with the most recent footage from the site showing dense columns of smoke erupting from the landfill.

The Ghazipur landfill, commissioned by the Delhi government in 1984, is the oldest dump site in the capital, and is considered to be its largest, spread over roughly 300,000 square meters. It has been a longstanding environmental concern, ever since it reached its capacity back in 2002, due to methane emissions and other harmful gasses, which have caused respiratory problems and other health issues among the people living nearby.

Methane gas fires have also been a common occurrence at the site, with a massive fire in March 2022 taking firefighters nearly 50 hours to extinguish. 

Incidents associated with the landfill also included a collapse of one section onto a nearby road in 2017, which claimed two lives.

In April 2022, after yet another major fire broke out at the landfill, Delhi environment department launched an action plan to prevent the repeat of such incidents. In March 2023, the Delhi authorities set a deadline for leveling Ghazipur for December 2024. However, the timeframe was later moved to December 2026.

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