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Issue 71
, 2016
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Residents Choke On Smoke As Delhi's Landfills Burn Unchecked

Source: NDTV, Date: , 2016

In a slum in East Delhi's Ghazipur, 51-year-old Sheikh Rubial sits in his one room house coughing profusely. He suffers from tuberculosis, and so do his three grandchildren, all below four years. The disease has forced the migrant labourer out of work for seven years. His slum adjoins the Ghazipur landfill site, were tonnes of unsegregated waste is dumped every day. The huge piles of garbage, apart from giving out a stench, also become the breeding ground of mosquitos, while Delhi battles one of the worst outbreaks of Dengue and Chikungunya. The layers of garbage also trap highly combustible and toxic Methane gas. Its spontaneous combustion burns the landfill including plastic, which sends nauseating white smoke into the city, worst exposing people like Rubial living in neighbouring areas. Wisps of white smoke are a common sight not just in Gazipur, but also in the neighbouring areas of city's two other landfills in Okhla and Bhalaswa.Experts suggest that a way forward for the city is to move away from landfills completely and segregate waste at source. They say the waste should be then moved for treatment to waste to energy plants.

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