Out Of Breath: The Okhla Landfill

Filmed by Nabina Chakraborty and Ohida Khandahar

For years, residents of and around Delhi have witnessed mountains of waste popping up in different pockets of the region. Not only are these landfills unaesthetic to the eye, but they also assume the role of disease epicentres; hereby, risking the lives of neighbouring populations. Last month, we took you on a tour of the Bhalswa landfill and its unfortunate effects on local waste-pickers and residents.

WATCH ALSO: Out of Breath: The Bhalswa Landfill

The second part of the Out of Breath series explores the ground-reality of the Okhla landfill from an anthropological perspective. Nabina and Ohida examine the effects of the mountain on the physical, psychological and social well being of its neighbours. Among the worst affected by the resultant skin diseases, air-borne diseases and polluted water bodies are the nearby regions of Tehkhand and Tughlaqabad.

Although things do seem bleak based on this description, it should be noted that South Delhi Municipal Corporation has taken certain measures to reduce the negative impact of the landfill. As of July 2019, the height of the garbage mound had been brought down from 58m to 38m. Furthermore, the MCD had initiated the process of converting parts of the Okhla landfill into a green eco-park in March of 2018.

These numbers are definitely pleasing to hear, however, do these interventions have a genuine impact on the ground?


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