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Delhi landfill collapse: Whither livelihood options for urban poor, eco-regulation?

By Our Representative

The Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM) and several other civil rights organizations have said that the landfill collapse at Bhalswa in north Delhi, because of incessant rains on August 13 leading to injury of three waste-pickers, and sudden collapse of livelihood options to scores of others, suggests that crisis is the result of failed environment regulations, and inability to address urban poverty issues of the poorest of the poor sections of society.
A grim reminder of the 2017 Ghazipur dumpyard collapse that claimed two lives, activists from DASAM, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG), Basti Suraksha Manch (BSM), Rehabilitation Research Initiative (RRI) and Lok Theatre India (LTI), which visited the Bhalswa landfill collapse site, found that people dependent on the landfill site for livelihood urgently needed re-sheltering support.
DASAM activists, says a civil society statement, helped provide monetary support to the people of Bhalswa by extending help to the 15 families, six of whom were facing extreme hardships because of their housing settlement being in more proximity with the landfill.
The statement said, Rafiq, a 19 year old wounded boy, who was taken to the Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital complained that he “did not get full treatment from the hospital.” He along with Sheikh Shahbuddin, a 27 years old physically handicapped who ran with his 2 month old son, Rahima Bibi, a six months pregnant woman, were provided with monetary.
“The people of this area need monetary support to avail basic amenities as in the collapse they have lost whatever little they had”, the statement said, adding, the landfill site collapse “also raises questions of alternative livelihoods and rehabilitation of these people.”

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