March Against Toxic waste- to- energy incinerator & environmental lawlessness in Okhla
27 March, 2011 NEW DELHI: Hundreds of people gathered at Jamia Nagar, Opposite the Jamia Millia University today to protest against a giant municipal waste incinerator rapidly coming up in the Okhla area, contravening a Supreme Court order banning the technology.
Amanatullah Khan, a local Congress party leader, told the gathering that the toxic emissions from plants of this type have been known to cause birth deformities, caners, respiratory ailments and hormonal problems. Khan said in spite of representations from people belonging to different political parties, the Delhi government has continued to pursue construction of the plant promoted by Jindal Ecopolis.
Khan said the whole Okhla area was being turned into a health and environment disaster zone through misuse of and mishandling of the Okhla sewage treatment plant, the Okhla industrial effluent treatment plant and a common biomedical waste incinerator despite a Delhi High Court order, a year ago, calling for its relocation.
He said there already existed a sense of betrayal in the Jamia area because the Delhi government had failed to implement a Delhi High Court order to relocate a common biomedical incinerator which was already causing serious health problems to the community. “Today’s rally is being held to highlight the fact that the residents’ serious grievances are not being addressed.”
Asha Arora, a local resident said instead of looking after the welfare of the people the government was causing problems for them. “All of us will have to unite against this toxic plant till it is closed down.”
Delegations from Haji colony, Sukhdev Vihar, Zakir Nagar, Gafar Manzil and Jamia Nagar assembled at Batla House and were joined by residents of nearby colonies before the march terminated at Okhla head (near Kalindi Kunj).
Today (Sunday) a letter was sent to the Minister for Environment and Forests (MoEF), Jairam Ramesh protesting against “high handedness and environmental lawlessness barely 10 kms away from the seat of power of the great Indian nation.”
On March 17, the residents of colonies in the Okhla area had met the minister and complained to him that the new waste-to-energy incinerator was being set up without addressing existing problems in the area arising out of gross misuse, such as denudation of a green buffer.
On 23rd March, a rally was held by hundreds of Delhi’s waste pickers demanding the scrapping of the waste-to-energy policy which was not only polluting but also affected their livelihoods. They had submitted a memorandum to the Lt Governor.
Earlier opposition party leaders of the Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) had also expressed apprehension over the location of such a plant in a densely populated area of South Delhi.
“This plant would release various types of harmful gases which will certainly pose serious helath threat to the lives of surrounding residents,” said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, BJP M.P. in a letter dated June 27, 2008 to the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Tejender Khanna.
For Details: Contact: Asha Arora 9711408421, Okhlakaghosla@gmailcom
Okhla Anti-Incinerator Committee - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog: toxicswatch.blogspot.com, Gopal Krishna, Mobile : 9818089660, E-mail: email@example.com
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