Okhla waste to energy plant, Delhi, India

Residents filed a case against Okhla waste-to-energy plant, refusing to bear the risk of dioxin. The waste pickers movement also opposed incineration of waste. NGT decided in favour of the plant in 2017.


Sukhdev Vihar near Okhla; Delhi residents 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. The case was transferred to National Green Tribunal on January 23, 2013. Representatives from Delhi government has failed to appear before the tribunal.

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Basic Data
NameOkhla waste to energy plant, Delhi, 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
Domestic municipal waste
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), already beforel 06.3.2012, a total of 27,469 Metric Tons of municipal solid waste had been utilized and 3,250 Metric Tons of waste was 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
Start Date2011
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 MobilizingLocal government/political parties
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, Global warming
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
OtherRisk of dioxin
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 / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening 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 failed to appear before the tribunal. The reason is not known. In 2017 the NGT decided in favour of incineration.
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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Demaria, F. Schindler S. (2016). Contesting Urban Metabolism: Struggles Over Waste‐to‐Energy in Delhi, India. Antipode, 48(2), p. 293-313.


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

Media Links

Waste pickers protests against waste-to-energy subsidies, 25 Oct 2011
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Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra/Federico Demaria/JMA
Last update12/04/2018