As if agricultural fires and vehicular pollution were not enough, this week, there was an addition to the long list of reasons that make Delhi’s air unbreathable.
On Nov. 25, the Ghazipur landfill in Delhi—popular as India’s tallest garbage mountain—caught fire that could not be controlled for over 24 hours. “Because the fire is on a landfill where several flammable items have been dumped, it has taken us some time to control it. The fire is not spreading now but we are yet to douse it completely,” a Delhi Fire Services official told Hindustan Times on Nov. 25.
With the fire raging overnight, Delhi’s air quality slipped into the severe zone on Nov. 25. Individuals living near the landfill site also complained of breathing issues due to the toxic pollutants in the air.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unidentified people in connection with the fire.
Nicknamed “Mount Everest” by locals, the Ghazipur landfill had grabbed headlines last year. The massive pile of the fetid matter was already more than 65 metres (213 feet) tall at that time, taking up an area larger than 40 football pitches. Until last year Ghazipur landfill was rising by nearly 10 metres a year.
Earlier this year, the landfill’s height was reduced, as per Gautam Gambir, a member of parliament from East Delhi.
Despite the reduced height, the site remains a matter of concern as on a daily basis around 2500 mt tonnes of waste is dumped at the landfill.