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The mountain of garbage and the fate of the people

The mountain of garbage and the fate of the people

The mountain of garbage and the fate of the people
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By Shome Basu  Nov 14, 2018 3:45:01 PM IST (Published)

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SUMMARY

Commissioned in 1984, Ghazipur dump yard is New Delhi’s largest and oldest landfill site. Spread over an area of 70 acres in Ghazipur, the dump yard is managed by East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and was saturated in 2002. Around 3,000 people directly and indirectly depend on this dump yard for their living. Most of the people that work here are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh. The landfill borders the National Capital Region (NCR) city of Ghaziabad. Trucks loaded with trash come from New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida and the neighbouring cities of Haryana. With 20 meters higher than the stipulated landfill height, Ghazipur dump yard has polluted the ground water and the nearby air with plethora of diseases. With recent low pressure and stub burning, Ghazipur landfill pollutants add on with an increase of air related diseases.

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With 70 acres of land fill and 20 meters higher than the stipulated landfill height, Ghazipur dump yard is New Delhi’s largest, with a huge tonnage of waste and hazardous goods dumped here each day.

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The landfill, which borders the NCR city of Ghaziabad, sees trucks loaded with waste come from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida and neighbouring cities of Haryana each day.

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Tonnes of garbage are burnt at the 70 acre Ghazipur dump yard, adding to the woes of the people who are already affected by the deadly smog menace in the NCR.

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Scavengers of all kinds work here for Rs 200 a day, by selling recyclable items that they find at the dump yard.

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Their work includes picking, segregating, cleaning, dismantling, transporting and trading in waste. Together they constitute India’s primary recycling system.

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A garbage disposal truck leaves the Ghazipur dump yard after unloading the garbage collected from different parts of the city.

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Around 3,000 people directly or indirectly depend on Ghazipur dump yard for their living. Most of the people working here are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and also Bangladesh.

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A scavenger with his rug bag smiles at the camera at the Ghazipur dump yard.

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Each day, millions across India earn a living by working with trash. These include waste pickers, itinerant buyers, small and large waste traders, and workers in godowns, silos and re-processors.

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A worker at the dump yard looks at the camera, while a garbage disposal truck unloads waste in the foreground.

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While they offer invaluable services to the city, these workers have few rights and operate in uncertain and poor working conditions.

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From dusk till dawn, scavengers work at the dump yard, exposing themselves to toxic materials hazardous to health.

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Every day, they are exposed to deadly poisons, forced to pay bribes, harassed and violated of their basic rights, simply to do their jobs.

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The biggest menace in the 70 acre dump yard is that of not only adults work here, but hundreds of children too.

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The job deprives these children of their childhood, education and forces them into child labour.

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Children working at the dump yard get fatally affected with diseases even amounting to cancer and chest related problems.

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Two kids pose while picking garbage at the Ghazipur dump yard.

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Birds fly at the Ghazipur dump yard to collect food from the tonnes of garbage that is dumped on a daily basis.

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A flock of birds fly over the Ghazipur dump yard at dusk, while a worker looks at them.

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Ghazipur dump yard has polluted the ground water and the nearby air with plethora of diseases. With recent low pressure and stub burning, Ghazipur landfill pollutants adds to the woes of the people living nearby.

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Animals forage for survival here as well, and like their human counterparts, suffer from severe ill health as a result.

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A herd of cattle walk through the dump yard looking for food.

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A large number of animals and birds scavenge the dump yard, looking for food.

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Birds are seen flying over the Ghazipur dump yard with the adjacent city's skyline in view.

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Millions across India earn a living by working with trash.

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Workers search through the garbage to pick valuable materials that can be traded or sold in the market.

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The skyline of the city adjacent to the Ghazipur dump yard is seen at dawn.

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Come dusk, hundreds of birds circle the dump yard to pick food.

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