Cleanest Cities of India: Bhopal reclaimed 37 acres of wasteland by clearing legacy waste

Bhopal's municipal corporation is now planning to commercially use this reclaimed land

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 22 February 2022

There are more than 3,000 dumpsites in India that need to be reclaimed or closed permanently, according to government data. And one of the best models to remediate these dumpsites can be found in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Bhopal has reclaimed 37 acres of land that was once a dumpsite for the entire city. Waste was dumped in this area for over 30 years and contained over 750,000 tonnes of legacy waste.

How did Bhopal do it? Bhopal is known as “the City of Lakes”. It is a city steeped in heritage and is a delight for food lovers. But what is little known is that Bhopal is also a city with a robust waste management system.

In 2018, Bhopal Municipal Corporation decided that a public-private partnership was the way to resolve the dumpsite problem in Bhanpur Khanti. Saurashtra Enviro Projects Pvt Ltd, a company involved in municipal solid waste (MSW) processing, was selected as the concessionaire to carry out bioremediation.

The company conducted a thorough topographical survey, including taking measurements of the depth of MSW below the ground and physiochemical characterisation of the dumpsite. BMC and the concessionaire then chose a unique hybrid model of bio-mining and bio-capping to carry out the remediation process.

Out of the 37 acres of land, 21 acres was to be recovered through biomining and the rest 16 acres was decided to be capped. A total of 180,000 tonnes of waste was recovered using biomining.

The next step was to deal with the rest of the waste by using the method of bio capping. After digging the land, a layer of high-density polythene liner was placed, over which a trapezoidal waste structure is made as a part of the capping process.

The treatment of leachate and gases that emerge from the dumpsite is also important during the capping process. And today, after three years of back-breaking work, Bhanpur Khanti looks clean. The BMC is now planning to commercially use this reclaimed land.

But for Bhopal getting rid of this eyesore was just the beginning. Today, Bhopal employs source segregation practices including door-to-door segregation. It is also promoting decentralised solutions like home-composting across the city to further strengthen its waste management system.

They also use GPS-based tracking technologies to ensure that waste gets collected, segregated and processed at every step. 

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.