Tuesday, April 20

Fire at Ghazipur landfill rages for over 12 hours, adds to Delhi’s pollution woes

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On the day when Delhi’s air quality slipped into the severe zone, a fire at east Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill has added to the Capital’s problems.

Delhi Fire Services (DFS) teams which have been working to control the fire, said that they received a call to report the fire at 9.56pm on Tuesday and it was still raging on Wednesday afternoon.

“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,” said a DFS official.

The official said that nine fire tenders are present at the spot.

With the landfill fire raging overnight, Delhi’s air quality slipped into the severe zone early Wednesday, with the air quality index (AQI) recording 401 at 6am according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. At 1pm, the AQI reading continued to remain in the dangerous level, at 406.

Air quality monitoring stations in east Delhi, which are closer to the landfill showed a major spike in pollution levels. At Patparganj, the levels were 423 and at Anand Vihar, the average AQI reading shot up to 445 at 1pm.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai’s office did not respond to queries of whether any action was being initiated to control the blaze or against any agency, at the time this report was filed.