The residents of national capital's Okhla region have turned hazardous Chinese waste incinerator technology being used by Jindal company's power plant into their core electoral issue in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
As part of ongoing protests since March 2005, a public march and rally is scheduled to be held from New Friends Colony market at 10:00 AM on March 23 and march down Mathura Road to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. The residents and environmental groups have been demanding shut down of the plant which has engulfed this region of the national capital into a major public health crisis.
Notably, in September 2018 the National Green Tribunal was told by a joint inspection committee of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) that the Okhla Waste-to-Energy plant and similar power plants at Delhi's Ghazipur and Narela-Bawana are not compliant with emission standards.
These plants are monuments of environmental lawlessness in the national capital. They are routinely burning biomass but Delhi Government and Central Goverment continues to muslead citizens and media by saying that biomass burning in Punjab and Hariyana is responsible for air pollution load in the national capital.Emissions problems at Okhla are compounded by the fact that the plant is situated in a thickly populated part of south Delhi surrounded by the colonies of Sukhdev Vihar, Ishwar Nagar, New Friends Colony, Jasola, Sarita Vihar, Haji Colony and Ghaffar Manzil.Despite such dangerously polluting conditions, the plant operated by Jindal Ecopolis, has been seeking to expand the plant from its present 16 megawatt capacity to 20 megawatts. This move faced bitter opposition at a fake public hearing of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee held on January 16 January, 2019 from residents and environmental groups like ToxicsWatch Alliance and National Alliance of Peoples' Movements.
Unmindful of such protests Jindal company has erected a third smokestack and operationalized it, severely increasing the pollution load and disease burden in the area. It has aggravated air pollution linked adverse public health effects.
Residents of Okhla have decided to boycott those political parties which has been protecting and promoting installation such tried, tested and failed hazardous technology amidst residential, educational, hospital and research areas in the vicinity of Okhla Bird Sanctuary and water sources.