Spare the Yamuna from swallowing Delhi's waste - #YamunaBakshoAandolan

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Recently, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation has obtained the permission of the Central Pollution Control Board to build new landfills in the Yamuna river zone, or the ‘O’ zone of the Delhi masterplan. Any activity on the ‘O’ zone means building on the fragile Yamuna floodplains. This could potentially mean the end of the already terminally ill Yamuna river as a living entity. 

It is well known from scientific studies- across India and internationally- that there is no landfill that does not finally leak. Indians depend on either river or underground water for drinking. The country’s scientific establishment has shown beyond doubt that India’s landfills are poisoning all forms of water and soil. 

Not only this, but as wet waste reaches landfills, it emits the highly combustible methane, which causes fire, with the residual plastic in the landfill adding fuel. As a result of this, both Delhi’s active landfills are always partially on fire. This exacerbates the severe air pollution condition.

The leachate from this new landfill will also poison the Yamuna, which will severely impact not only Delhiites, whose only source of drinking water is the river, but millions of Indians downstream. It will also add to the environmental burden of the city, already strained to its limits. International experience shows that even if it is built to global standards, it will eventually contaminate water irreversibly. This apart, the rich bio-diversity of the river will also be seriously threatened by such toxic exposure.

We, therefore, call for a rollback of this permission and plan to spare the Yamuna from swallowing Delhi's waste.