Beena Alick John, 55, has stomach cancer. “The plant is noisy and emits smoke clouds which enter the residential area. It is difficult to even go out of house for morning or evening walks. Most of the residents here complain of chest congestion and skin problems” Photograph by Chinky Shukla
The ground water in the locality has been contaminated by leachate from the compost plant. People complain they are constantly afflicted with skin problems and respiratory ailments Photograph by Chinky Shukla
The Okhla waste-to-energy plant, managed by the Jindal group, is located close to residential colonies, major hospitals, institutions and schools. The residents in the area and environmentalists are waging a battle in court to get it closed Photograph by Chinky Shukla
The Delhi High Court had ordered shifting of the biomedical waste plant at Okhla in January this year. But it continues to operate unhindered Photograph by Chinky Shukla
Khursheed Ahmed, 66, has been living in Haji colony for the past 17 years with his family. He is suffering from tuberculosis. His wife, 60, has second stage cancer. “It is shameful that the government is more concerned about energy generation than health and hygiene of the local people. It is not a healthy environment to live in, especially for old and sick people like us,” says Ahmed Photograph by Chinky Shukla
About 2,000 tonnes of municipal waste is transported daily to the plant for incineration. This includes biomedical waste which is burnt in a biomedical waste incinerator separately. Resident Welfare Associations say the waste-to-energy plant generates large amounts of harmful gases, heavy metals and dioxins, which are associated with cancer, birth defects, hormonal disorders, respiratory ailments and skin infections Photograph by Chinky Shukla
More than 500 trucks dump waste at the waste treatment plant daily. Trucks also carry ash from the plant and dump it in the landfill, exposing people continuously to dust at all times of the day Photograph by Chinky Shukla
A resident of Haji colony, Farhad Parveen, suffers from severe asthma. “It is very difficult to live here in the midst of all the dust and harmful gases. Trucks filled with waste from different parts of the city are dumped here, which emits bad stench. The situation worsens in the morning and late evening, leaving many like me gasping for breath,” says Parveen Photograph by Chinky Shukla
Hasrat Khan, 64, suffers from asthma. “We are constantly exposed to harmful gases, dust and foul smell of the waste. It makes me giddy. The plant has aggravated my breathing problem and now on an average I spend Rs 3000 per month on my medicines,” says Khan. He said many people are afflicted with breathing problems and are unaware of the root cause of it Photograph by Chinky Shukla
Haji colony is just 100 metres from the incinerator plant. The colony has the waste to energy plant on one side, alongside a bio-medical waste incinerator and large municipal compost plant Photograph by Chinky Shukla
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