Okhla waste to energy plant, India


Sukhdev Vihar near Okhla; Delhi residents had filed a case in the Delhi high court against the Okhla waste-to-energy plant. Local residents have opposed the plant. The report also claimed that an untested and unapproved Chinese incinerator technology was being used in the plant.

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Basic Data
NameOkhla waste to energy plant, India
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
E-waste and other waste import zones
Specific Commodities
Industrial waste
Chemical products
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), till 06.3.2012, a total of 27,469 Metric Tons of municipal solid waste has been utilized and 3,250 Metric Tons of waste is lying in the collection/storage pit in the plant.

This plant generates about 3 MW energy using the municipal solid waste in Delhi.
Type of PopulationUrban
Company Names or State EnterprisesDelhi Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) from India
M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL) from India - a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited (India)
Relevant government actorsDelhi Government, Uttar Pradesh Government, National Green Tribunal
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSukhdev Vihars Pocket B Resident Welfare Association

Waste recyclers unions ( All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh (AIKMM), Safai Sena, Delhi Kabadi Mazdoor Sangh, Green Flag)

GAIA (international alliance against incineration of waste)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood
Potential: Specific impacts on women
OtherReyclers argue they lose their means of livelihood since waste is privatized and incinerated
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Development of AlternativesLocal residants are ready to give their open rooftop area that can be dedicated to solar panels. They have volunteered the space to generate solar power to show there is not need for turning waste to energy. Residents wants the waste to water plant to be stopped or transferred from the locality .

Recyclers unions propose that cooperatives or unions working in better conditions would recycle the waste.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Local residents filed case against the Okhla waste-to-energy plant in Delhi High Court in 2009. The case was transferred to National Green Tribunal on January 23, 2013. Representatives from Delhi government has failed to appear before the tribunal. The reason is not known.
Sources and Materials

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Economic and Political Wekly, Delhi's Waste Conflict

Vol - XLVII No. 42, October 20, 2012 | by Seth Schindler, Federico Demaria, and Shashi B Pandit
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Government skips Okhla plant case hearing
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Justice still a mirage for Okhla residents
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Pollution by Okhla Waste-to – Energy Plant
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Waste plant threat to Okhla bird sanctuary: UP
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Pollution level near Okhla waste-to-energy plant 25 times above limit
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Okhla waste-to-energy plant operator told to control emissions or face closure
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Residents of Sukhdev Vihar want waste plant to go, pledge terraces for solar panels
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Justice Still a mirage for Okhla residents
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Okhla waste to energy plant: NGT notice on possible threat to bird sanctuary

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update03/05/2014