The waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Delhi's Okhla has been worrying residents of Sukhdev Vihar for a while now. Its efforts to expand from 16 megawatt (MW) to 40 MW and add two more boilers to its existing three have made them take to roads several times.
Despite Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) norms saying that boilers, in case of explosion, will hazardously impact everything within 260-metre radius and a manual by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development saying such plants should be located no nearer than 300 meters from residences and industries, Sukhdev Vihar DDA Flats and Haji Colony are located 45 metres away from the plant. Also falling within the explosion impact zone are Jamia Millia Islamia university’s residence for women and the residences for staff and students of Central Road Research Institute and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.
The residents are trying to make the authorities relocate the plant so that they are not in harm’s way. Their efforts got them a small success when their protests made the South Delhi District Magistrate postpone the hearing to expand the plant.