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Don’t promise waste plants, NGOs to parties

Written By Krishna on Saturday, April 07, 2012 | 1:07 AM

Environmentalists are up in arms against the Congress and the BJP for promising promising more waste-to-energy plants during election campaigns. They say such plants are harmful for the environment.

Toxicwatch alliance, an NGO, and other environment groups on Friday said political parties should be boycotted for encouraging such units. The NGOs said the existing ones should be shut.

The waste-to-energy plants burn garbage to generate electricity. There are three such units in the city — Narela-Bawana, Ghazipur and Okhla.

The plants have been made started to deal with the piling heaps of garbage. According to the MCD, 8000 tonnes of garbage can be dispensed per day.

Environmentalists such as Gopal Krishna say toxic emissions from these plants cause birth deformities, cancer, respiratory ailments and hormonal problems.

Krishna said While BJP leader VK Malhotra has been opposing the waste-to-energy plants, the party is promoting them in the elections,” Gopal Krishna said.

Hamari Jamatia
Hindustan Times
April 07, 2012

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/836715.aspx



BJP backs ‘toxic’ power plants, activists see red

New Delhi, Apr 6, 2012, DHNS :

Emission of gases concerns residents

The BJP’s show of support to three waste-to-energy plants in Ohkla, Bawana and Ghazipur in its MCD polls manifesto has not gone down well with residents and environmentalists.

The Okhla plant is already functioning.

The BJP said that it will support the construction of the two other plants if it is voted to power.

In 2008, the BJP had written to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna, expressing apprehension over the location of the plants in residential areas.

“This (Okhla) plant will release harmful gases and pose a threat to nearby residents,” BJP MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra had written to the governor on June 27, 2008.

“We should boycott voting for Congress and BJP since both parties are supporting these plants,” said environmental activist Gopal Krishna.

Members of Bhartiya Kachra Intazamia Andolan and All-India Kachra Shramik Mahasangh (AIKSM), apart from expressing concern over harmful effects on health, stated that the livelihood of ragpickers will be affected.

“There are 3.5 lakh ragpickers in the Capital. These plants will take away their livelihood without giving anything in return,” said Dharmender Yadav, general secretary of AIKSM.

According to Krishna, the plan of converting waste to electricity will not work since the waste collected in the city has no adequate calorific value.

“The waste comprises 38 per cent vegetables and 40 per cent inter and ash, which cannot produce electricity. The only substance with a high calorific value is plastic, which is 0.75 per cent of total waste collected. How much electricity can this much amount of plastic produce?” said Krishna.

Residents in localities near Ohkla power plant have already started experiencing breathing problems.

“In Haji Colony near Jamia Nagar, nobody wants to marry our sons because of the constant stench coming from the plant,” said Afzal of Haji Nagar.

“In Sukhdev Vihar, reports of children being diagnosed with asthma are coming. And this is not even a far-flung area; this is right in the middle of the city, where even Jamia Millia Islamia, Escorts and Apollo Hospital are located,” added Afzal.

According to activists, emissions from the plant include suspended particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen chloride, and dioxins and furans.

“These are among the most toxic substances known to science,” said Krishna.

“Such emissions have been known to cause birth deformities, cancer, respiratory ailments and hormonal problems,” added Krishna.

Sugandha Pathak

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/240304/bjp-backs-toxic-power-plants.html#


Delhi Citizens asked to defeat anti-environment and anti-people political forces


Residents, environmental groups and waste recycling workers are protesting against Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP)'s manifesto that promises bring municipal waste incinerators to generate electricity by burning waste in the national capital region in contravention of a Supreme Court order putting a stay on use of incinerator technology. Delhi’s waste recycling workers and environmental groups are demanding the scrapping of the waste-to-energy policy which was not only polluting but also affected their livelihoods.

Earlier opposition party leaders of the BJP had also expressed apprehension over the location of such a plant in a densely populated areas 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. The U-turn by BJP is an act betrayal.

The toxic emissions from plants of this type have been known to cause birth deformities, caners, respiratory ailments and hormonal problems.

This proposal of the BJP in collusion with the Indian National Congress will turn Delhi into a health and environment disaster zone. Residents, environmental groups, waste recycling workers and left and socialist parties have joined hands to oppose the hazardous municipal waste incinerators in Delhi's Narela-Bawana, Ghazipur and Okhla.

Residents, environmental groups and waste recycling workers appealed to the citizens of Delhi to ensure that both BJP and Congress do not get their support else they turn Delhi in to a gas chamber for the present and future generations.

Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance, Anant Trivedi, Member, Technical Evaluation Committe, Central Pollution Control Board, Dharmender Yadav, Gen. Secretary, AIKSM, and Surender Panchal, Member, State Committee, CPILML in a press release urged the political parties other than BJP and Congress must promise to work for abandonment of this harmful policy to save irreparable damage to sustainable and sane municipal solid waste management practices. It may be noted that besides being an emitter of Persistent Organic Pollutants, as per Annexure A of Kyoto Protocol, waste incineration is a green house gas emitter.

According to them, the minutes of the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the NCR (EPCA) reveal that Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was asked about the actions taken to improve Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management in Delhi. "To this MCD replied that individual waste to energy projects have been already given to Jindal, Ramky and GMR, which will result in minimal inert residue for landfilling along with the generation of electricity," the minute reads.

As per the Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management, Union Ministry of Urban Development, physical composition of Indian waste shows that inert material constitutes from 43.59 % to 53.90 % and compostable matter constitutes 44.57 % to 30.84 %. Thus, the total inert residue from waste to energy incinerator projects will be significantly higher after the incineration of waste which will produce toxic ash as well that requires disposal in engineered landfills.

This grave situation has emerged due to evidently flawed waste to energy policy of central government, state government and the MCD which are providing incentives to hazardous incinerator and co-incineration incineration technologies like Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

Narendra Ch

http://www.merinews.com/article/delhi-citizens-asked-to-defeat-anti-environment-and-anti-people-political-forces/15868132.shtml

BJP’s Double Speak on Waste to Energy Plants
April 1st, 2012

Gopal Krishna

The promise of waste-to-energy projects in its manifesto to sort out garbage problems by BJP is anti-environment, and anti-people. This promise reveals that both Congress and BJP are hand in glove in adopting the hazardous incinerator technology.

Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA) supports the hunger strike against the Okhla waste to energy incinerator by the residents.

Delhi Chief Minister inaugurated the 20.9 MW plant despite bitter resistance of the residents, environmental groups and waste pickers.

Senior BJP leader Vikay Kumar Malhotra too had supported the struggle against this heavily polluting plant both in writing and on TV. Now his party has revealed that it support the hazardous plant and not the citizens of Delhi.

This double speak by BJP is condemnable.

The callousness of both BJP and Congress towards the sad plight of residents of Okhla, Narela-Bawana and Ghazipur, environment and the livelihood of waste pickers due to hazardous waste to energy incinerators is unacceptable.

Okhla waste to energy incinerator plant has faced opposition since 2005 due to its adverse public health consequences. The plant in question has violated every rule in the rule book. It is a matter of fact that such plants have consistently failed in India.

The consent of the people of Okhla which is a ‘must’ before granting clearances and cumulative impact assessment was never taken. The people of Okhla never gave their consent for this hazardous project in their proximity. There is documentary evidence that the public hearing that was conducted was fake, it was conducted at Saket.

The environmental clearance given to the project is also flawed as it has been amended repeatedly to increase the amount of waste treated and energy generated in an apparent effort to grab subsidies being offered by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The cumulative impact assessment of the pre-existing biomedical waste incinerator and the new municipal waste incinerator has never been done. The emissions from both these units are already becoming part of body burden of residents of Okhla.

The imminent public health crisis due to biomedical waste incinerator plant and the construction of municipal waste to energy incinerator in Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar residential area which is surrounded by university, schools, hospitals, bird sanctuary and several other residential areas of Okhla is crying for attention. Similar hazardous plants are proposed in Delhi’s Narela-Bawana and Ghazipur.

The minutes of the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the NCR (EPCA) reveal that Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was asked about the actions taken to improve Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management in Delhi. “To this MCD replied that individual waste to energy projects have been already given to Jindal, Ramky and GMR, which will result in minimal inert residue for land filling along with the generation of electricity,” the minute reads. This is factually deceptive and scientifically incorrect.

As per the Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management, Union Ministry of Urban Development, physical composition of Indian waste shows that inert material constitutes from 43.59 % to 53.90 % and compostable matter constitutes 44.57 % to 30.84 %. Thus, the total inert residue from waste to energy incinerator projects will be significantly higher after the incineration of waste which will produce toxic ash as well that requires disposal in engineered landfills.

This grave situation has emerged due to evidently flawed waste to energy policy of central government, state government and the MCD which are providing incentives to hazardous incinerator and co-incineration incineration technologies like Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

Political parties other than BJP and Congress must promise to work for abandonment of this harmful policy to save irreparable damage to sustainable and sane municipal solid waste management practices. It may be noted that besides being an emitter of Persistent Organic Pollutants, as per Annexure A of Kyoto Protocol, waste incineration is a green house gas emitter. The Ministry of Power can vouch for the fact that the energy from municipal is inconsequential compared to the colossal public health concerns.

It may be recollected that pursuant to the agitation of the residents, environmental and waste picker groups, Jairam Ramesh, the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests had taken cognizance of the emerging public health threats from the waste to energy incinerator in the vicinity of residential premises. He had written to the Chief Minister of National Capital Region of Delhi as well after he heard the testimonies of the people who are adversely affected by the waste to energy incinerator. The letter was sent following a site visit on March 30, 2011 and meeting with residents on 31st March, 2011.

http://beyondheadlines.in/2012/04/bjps-double-speak-on-waste-to-energy-plants/
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