A proposal to create a 30-acre dumpsite in Faridabad’s Pali Mohbtabad village to divert fresh waste away from the Bandhwari landfill, has been scrapped by the municipal corporations of Gurugram and Faridabad, as the site in question is a ‘forest’ land, notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act(PLPA), 1900. A second proposal, to divert waste from the landfill to a site in Farrukhnagar, has also been shelved after a stay order was imposed by a local court in December last year, in response to a civil suit filed by a resident.
This was revealed in an affidavit submitted by the MCG to the National Green Tribunal(NGT) last month, detailing its progress on remediation of the Bandhwari landfill. The affidavit, a copy of which is in possession of Hindustan Times, states that 30 acres of land had been sought from the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad(MCF) for storage of “segregated fractions” of waste. “It is submitted... that land at Pali under ownership of Municipal Corporation Faridabad was found to be protected forest land, under Section 4 & 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act.” The affidavit goes on to state: “Transportation of fresh waste... to Farukhnagar couldn’t be initiated due to grant of stay/restraining order.”
While senior Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) officials did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday, Yashpal Yadav, commissioner, MCF, confirmed that these plans for establishing alternative landfills were no longer being pursued. “The only option for both Gurugram and Faridabad now is to improve our decentralised waste segregation systems to reduce the pressure on Bandhwari,” Yadav added.
A senior MCF official familiar with the matter, said, “The Faridabad landfill at Pali was proposed as part of the master plan 2031. In September last year, Haryana had asked the MCG and MCF to assess the feasibility of diverting waste there. Later, it was decided that instead of fresh waste, processed waste could be dumped at the site instead to reduce space constraints at Bandhwari. However, as the land is forest land, the idea has been dropped. There had also been protests against this in 2015, when the site was first considered for use as a dump yard.”
The site in question is located in the Pali crusher zone, once among the largest stone mining sites in India, covering close to 90 acres of Aravalli forest land. Activists have previously warned against starting a dumpyard there, given the present status of pollution in Bandhwari landfill, which is also located inside an abandoned mining pit. Sunil Harsana, an environmentalist from nearby Mangar village, said, “The groundwater under Bandhwari is already contaminated. In case of Pali, the mining pit is much deeper and contains exposed groundwater. Starting a garbage dump here is akin to directly throwing your trash into the groundwater table and would have led to serious consequences for human and ecological health.”