Unable to find an alternative ground to dump waste as large as Dhapa, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to continue with the existing facility but after scientifically reclaiming it in phases.
Adopting multi-pronged strategies to combat the ill-effects of hazardous waste at Dhapa, the civic solid waste management department has started reclaiming portions of the dumpyard, so that those areas could be reused after creating sanitary landfill, said Debabrata Majumdar, member, mayor-in-council, overseeing the department.
During a visit to Dhapa, TOI found multiple machines scooping out chunks from high piles of waste and taking them to a compost plant, where the waste is recycled into fertilizer. “We have started reclaiming a part of the Dhapa ground since January 16. These scooped-up chunks are transported to a factory, where the waste is screened and segregated. After segregating plastic and the likes from biodegradable waste, the latter is sent to a separate unit to produce organic manure from it,” said a KMC solid waste management official.
As the KMC is determined to reduce health hazards from the Dhapa dumping ground, a search for an alternative land is also on. “Going by the present rate of reclamation, it will take much long to reclaim the entire 23 hectares of Dhapa. We need an alternative land that could be set up with a sanitary landfill facility to take the load off Dhapa,” a KMC official said. The civic body has stopped dumping waste on 12 hectares of land in the crore Dhapa area. The portion has been beautified and a green zone created there.
A civic official pointed out that the capacity of the compost plant would be enhanced soon. “In the first phase, we are recycling 300 tonnes of garbage a day. The capacity of the compost plant will be increased to 900 tonnes a day in three months,” he said.
The official said 100 tonnes of manure were produced from 300 tonnes of wastes every day. This apart, the compost plant, set up on a PPP model, receives 500 tonnes of biodegradable waste collected from Kolkata households every day.
A section of KMC officials, however, felt the success of the project of reclaiming the Dhapa ground would depend on fruitful implementation of waste segregation at the ward level. “We have recently started waste segregation at households in 20 KMC wards. The number will go up by another 100 by the end of the year. Only then will we be able to prevent the pollution being generated from the hazardous waste dumped at Dhapa,” said a KMC solid waste management official.
Source: Times of India