Okhla Anti-Incinerator Committee - PRESS NOTE
Crucial Delhi High Court Hearing on May 23
NEW DELHI, May 23 - A crucial hearing at the Delhi High Court on May 23, Monday may determine the future of India’s first “waste-to-energy” being built by Jindal Ecopolis in the teeth of opposition by residents of Okhla - that includes New Friends Colony, Maharani Bagh, Sarita Vihar, Sukhdev Vihar, Jasola Vihar, Haji Colony, Jamia Nagar, Haji Colony and Ishwar Nagar, Ghaffar Manil and Harikesh Nagar. .
Arvind Nigam and K K Rohatgi , counsel appearing for the residents in the Public Interest Litigation they have filed in the Delhi High Court, will stress several legal violations committed by the public private partnership between Jindal Ecopolis and the Delhi state government that is behind the plant.
Violations include that of Supreme Court rulings in 2005 and 2007 restricting waste-to-energy (WTE) plants to pilot projects and not the full-scale industry producing 16 megawatts of electricity that is being built at Okhla.
Counsel will point to violations of land use since the site where the Okhla WTE is coming up was earmarked for green activity, such as a district park, and for education and research. About 13.5 acres of land was transferred to Jindal Ecopolis without prior permission from the Delhi Development Authority, violating DDA rules and procedures.
The plant violates the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 which require any incinerator to be integral to an existing landfill site, whereas the nearest landfill is located at Tughlakabad about 12 kms away from Jindal’s WTE.
While the Municipal waste Handling Rules 2000 require technology used in a WTE to be approved by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) no such approval has been obtained by respondents.
CPCB rules caution local bodies against adopting “expensive technologies of power generation, fuel pelletisation, incineration etc” until proven under Indian conditions and certified by the Government of India.
Under procedural violations the residents have submitted that there was no worthwhile public hearing and that this has been acknowledged by the Minister of Environment of Forests (MoEF) and that the State has a duty to disclose fully the size, the technology to be used, likely hazards, full impact of the project to the public.
Environmental clearance for the project was given originally to the Industrial Leasing and Financing Services (IL&FS), but the company auctioned it to Jindal Ecopolis which failed to approach the MoEF as required by law. This has been acknowleged by MoEF Minister, Jairam Ramesh.
While there is overwhelming evidence that plants of this type produce toxic gases, residues and respirable particles, the Okhla WTE is being set up just 100 metres away from the nearest established residences.
Counsel have also submitted that operation of the plant would result in 300 truck-loads of municipal waste or flyash daily moving to and from the plant would seriously disrupt traffic on Mahtura Road and Ring Road.
Vivek Dhupa, President New Friends Colony RWA ( 9313746051)
Arif Khan, General Secretary, Haji Colony RWA . Mobile: 9891519844
Anant Trivedi, RWA member, Ishwar Nagar.
Vanya Joshi, Coordinator, Okhla Anti-Incineration Committee – 9873980694
Asha Arora, Co-coordinator, Okhla Anti-incineration Committee. Mobile-9711408421 .
Padma Agarwal Gen. Secy RWA Jasola Vihar – 9312212419
Praveen Shrivastava, RWA, Sarita Vihar – 9871039616
S. Khurana, Vice President, Sukhdev Vihar RWA – 9810218150
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