LMC may get NGT’s ‘Red Card’ as 100 football fields of waste loom over Lucknow
The ominous sight of this football field-sized waste expanse can be witnessed at the Shivri waste treatment plant on the outskirts of Lucknow.
LUCKNOW The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) is facing the ominous prospect of a heavy fine from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) due to an immense pile of solid waste. This waste, estimated to weigh a colossal 20 lakh metric tonnes, is equivalent in size to a staggering 100 football fields. If left unattended, this mammoth heap of waste is predicted to take a century to decompose naturally.
The ominous sight of this football field-sized waste expanse can be witnessed at the Shivri waste treatment plant on the outskirts of Lucknow. Furthermore, the city’s solid waste collection operations have been severely impacted, as the LMC has terminated its contract with Ecogreen, the private firm responsible for waste collection and disposal. Regrettably, LMC has yet to secure the services of an alternative agency.
Environmentalists are sounding the alarm, citing potential health and environmental hazards posed by this colossal waste deposit at Shivri. Responding to the situation, NGT has served a notice to the LMC, demanding a response. In reply, LMC has requested a three-month grace period to rectify the situation.
At present, the solid waste treatment plant, now under LMC’s administration, can only process between 600 to 1000 metric tonnes of solid waste daily. However, Lucknow generates approximately 1500 to 1600 metric tonnes of waste each day.
In a glimmer of hope, Dr Arvind Rao, the additional municipal commissioner in charge of the Shivri plant, is optimistic about the treatment of the entire 20 lakh metric tonnes of waste. He affirmed, “We have floated tenders for the treatment of this legacy waste, receiving technical bids from multiple companies. In 15 days, financial bids will be evaluated, and we anticipate awarding the contract for treating this legacy waste. With the next 16 months, we aim to set a precedent for other cities in managing these 20 lakh tonnes of waste.”
Similarly, municipal commissioner Inderjeet Singh expressed confidence, stating, “LMC is committed to avoiding any fines from NGT, as we have diligently followed their directives. Our staff is now engaged in door-to-door waste collection across all 110 city wards. We are also in the process of finalizing tenders for private vendors to pick up solid waste, with initial teething issues being addressed.”
However, leader of the Opposition in LMC, Kamran Beg, raised concerns, “Various areas like Rajajipuram, Talkatora, Husainganj, Lalkuan, Aliganj Priyadarshini colony, Gallamandi, Babuganj, IT college, Gomti Nagar extension, Chinhat, Ismailganj, Thakurganj, Balaganj, and more are plagued by open waste heaps, inviting mosquito infestation while the city battles the dengue outbreak. LMC must address these concerns transparently.”
A six-time corporator from Jagdish Chandra Bose ward lamented, “LMC pledged 100% waste pickup and efficient management, including a material recovery centre and converting 35% of waste collection vehicles to CNG. Additionally, they promised to handle cow dung from local dairies, but these commitments remain unfulfilled.”
Nevertheless, Singh assured the public, “Tracking devices have been installed in all waste collection trucks, enabling us to monitor their movement and waste disposal. We are committed to resolving all solid waste management issues swiftly.”