20 deaths every year due to cancer in Bandhwari village
Gurugram: The landfill site in Gurugram East may just be proving a deadly trap for its residents. Ever since the landfill site was set up in Bhandwari village in 2013, there have been around 100 deaths due to cancer in an area comprising 9,000 residents.
On the directions of National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had conducted water test and found an alarming level of poisonous compounds that can cause the deadly disease. Nestled in the Aravallis and located along the Gurugram-Faridabad road, the area is just one grim example of a state where officially 4,592 people lost their lives due to cancer in 2017. Other villages that have also been adversely affected are Baliawas and Mangar.
This means that on an average 20 people have lost their life each year due to Cancer since setting up of the plant. A major reason cited for large number of people contracting the disease is the poisonous leachate due to mounds of garbage piling at the site for five years. On the directions of National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had conducted the sample test of underground water in and around the area in September last year.
The results proved to be a shocking revelation of how the water that was consumed could make any person extremely sick. Poisonous substances that included chlorides, nitrites, manganese and calcium were way above even the unhealthy levels.
The presence of lead and mercury that are the main causes for cancer was also found in large amounts. Taking cognisance of the major health challenge caused by the extremely contaminated underground water, the Haryana government is building a treatment plant. However, there have been reservations expressed by the villagers and the environmentalists over the project improving the situation. Moreover, in the next week of this month, Chief Minister ML Khattar is set to inaugurate the country's largest waste to energy plant in the same area which again is being opposed by villages in Aravallis. They highlight the fact that they are already suffering from the repercussions of water pollution, the increase in pollution will further deteriorate the health of the residents.
What can prove to be a warning sign for residents living in the millennium city that it's neighbour Faridabad with 771 deaths was the leader. Large amount of garbage is being dumped daily at the landfill site from Gurugram as well as Faridabad. There are over 90 trucks that come daily and dump garbage.
Commissioned in 2008, Bandhwari landfill nestled in the green belt of the Aravallis was created with an objective to segregate and recycle the waste generated from Gurgaon as well as Faridabad. Set up with an investment of Rs 300 crore, the objective was to operationalise a power plant and plastic recycling unit at the site. However, the plans did not materialize and citing heavy losses, the contractor Irfan Furniturewalla abandoned the project of recycling the waste of the area in 2013. In 2017, the state government signed a pact with a Chinese company to recycle the waste in the area. There has been a long pending demand to remove the landfill site from the present location.