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Photos: Fire at India’s tallest garbage mountain makes Delhi’s air quality worse

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Forced to breathe in the filthy air.
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Reporter based in New Delhi.

Published Last updated

As if agricultural fires and vehicular pollution were not enough, this week, there was an addition to the long list of reasons that make Delhi’s air unbreathable.

On Nov. 25, the Ghazipur landfill in Delhi—popular as India’s tallest garbage mountain—caught fire that could not be controlled for over 24 hours. “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,” a Delhi Fire Services official told Hindustan Times on Nov. 25.

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Firefighters try to douse the fire.

With the fire raging overnight, Delhi’s air quality slipped into the severe zone on Nov. 25. Individuals living near the landfill site also complained of breathing issues due to the toxic pollutants in the air.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unidentified people in connection with the fire.

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Delhi’s air quality worsened on Nov. 25.

Nicknamed “Mount Everest” by locals, the Ghazipur landfill had grabbed headlines last year. The massive pile of the fetid matter was already more than 65 metres (213 feet) tall at that time, taking up an area larger than 40 football pitches. Until last year Ghazipur landfill was rising by nearly 10 metres a year.

Earlier this year, the landfill’s height was reduced, as per Gautam Gambir, a member of parliament from East Delhi.

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
The fire was raging on for more than 12 hours.
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Locals complained about breathing issues and burning eyes.

Despite the reduced height, the site remains a matter of concern as on a daily basis around 2500 mt tons of waste is dumped at the landfill.

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