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Issue 4
, 2007
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Kolkata's second landfill being planned on Ramsar Site

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2007

The city of joy, Kolkata, is peaking a productivity figure that it isn't quite ready to handle. The city is generating 3,000 metric tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste and its only landfill, Dhapa, is overflowing.

This has forced Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) to look for a second site and if one goes by local news reports, the planned new site would encroach on a wetland listed under Ramsar Convention. The city's daily waste generation has been growing at a rapid pace. It stood at 2,500 metric tonnes in 2004 and rose to 3000 metric tonnes in 2006.

The project would cost nearly Rs 45 crore. According to a news report, a part of this fund was to come through the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP). The ADB, however, backed out as the planned site is a part of the East Kolkata Wetlands (ECW), which have been declared a wetland under the Ramsar Convention of August 19, 2002.

But this has not derailed the plans, as the state environment department and the KMC have decided to mobilise funds from other sources. Since ECW is the world’s largest natural treatment plant for solid and soluble waste, the environmentalists opine that the civic authority should opt for another area.

Meanwhile, technical support is being sought from a Canadian agency to look at alternatives to landfill dumping, including composting, power generation and recycling.