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Beginning of a transformation: Case of a polluting junkyard in Patparganj Industrial Area

A junkyard and a stinking dump site of wastes in an industrial park in Delhi stands today transformed into a beautiful park in less than 3 months. This is the story from the Patparganj Industrial Area located in the East Delhi district in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The Patparganj Industrial Area of the Delhi State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (DSIIDC) is spread in an area of 134 acres housing 600 medium and small scale industries (MSME). The industrial area is the neighbourhood of the buzzing residential neighbourhoods of the famous Patparganj that is a home to a large number of group housing societies and many multi-storeyed apartments. The waste dumps in the industrial area and air pollution from the nearby areas and the adjacent drain carrying sewage had been a concern for the industrialists in the Patparganj industrial area. The air pollutants from the drain were causing corrosion problems to the air conditioners and affecting plant machinery in industries. The industrial area has highly depleted ground water levels and water with very high salts that makes it unfit for industrial consumption.

The team of the GIZ working on the “Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production” project under the Indo-German Development Cooperation toiled an idea on undertaking an environmental improvement drive in the Patparganj Industrial Area and deliberated with the officials of DSIIDC. The DSIIDC team immediately decided to go-ahead and jointly with CPCB deliberated with the industries and the industrial association- the Patparganj FIE Entrepreneurs Association (PFEA) of the Patparganj Industrial Area. PFEA, which was involved in several pro-active measures for the member industries in the Patparganj Industrial Area, was more than eager to take up another activity, this time with focus on environment.

The World Environment Day on June 5, 2016 was seen as an opportune time for and PFEA and its member industries who enthusiastically came forward and decided to showcase a good example of transformation in their industrial area. The 1.26 acre open ground in the midst of the Patparganj Industrial Area was unanimously chosen to be spot for focus for the clean-up. This open ground had been a haven for rag pickers and the industries to dump their junk and solid wastes.  

This open ground is a designated green space as per the master plan of the industrial area. However, over a period of time, it became a dump yard of wastes posing pollution risks to ground water and the surroundings of the industrial area. No one seemed to worry over years about this waste dump yard or for its development as a green space, until based on a request from PFEA, DSIIDC took actions to build a boundary wall and footpaths surrounding the open ground in December 2015.

On 6th June, 2016, with the cooperation from DSIIDC and GIZ, PFEA launched an Environment Improvement Drive and started with a token tree plantation in the park through Mr. Ramnivas Goel, Honourable Member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly from Shahdara Constituency of Delhi, who was present at the event as a chief guest.  

PFEA took lead and continued the effort in a mission mode to transform the junkyard. Hard pressed with funds, PFEA was looking for a way out, when M/s Sage Metal Ltd., a medium scale industry from the Patparganj Industrial Area, which is into manufacture and export of electrical and sanitary fittings made of ferrous and non-ferrous metals came forward to support the activity as a CSR (corporate social responsibility).

The construction debris and solid waste dumped for years in the park, which was of some 1375 tonnes, was first removed. Then the soil in the park was levelled, fresh soil and manure were added to the park and plantation was started. On 15th July 2016, tree plantation programme was organised in the presence of the Mayor of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Ms Sandhya Sharma and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC)  Standing Committee Chairman Mr. Jitendra Chowdhry.

Eventually, grass and 1,500 different types of trees plants were planted during July to August 2016. The park now has a variety of growing trees (Harsringar, Semal, Kurejia, Raat ki rani, Madhumalati etc.) and are gracefully transforming the landscape of the place and are bringing in fresh air to the old thinking and habits of the industries in the area.  Amazingly, the transformation of the open ground with waste dumps into a beautiful park took less than 3 months.

The trees are chosen that have flowers for most of the year so as to add beauty to the area. Additionally, bamboo trees and other tall trees were planted to give shelter to the birds and squirrels that are abundant in the area. A pond has been developed in the park merging into the landscape, designed to harvest rainwater through a natural slope provided within the park. Care has been taken to prevent rainwater from the surroundings, which may carry pollutants enroute, do not enter the park. The pond, after good rains this year, has at one point had about a million litres of water in it! Hopefully, this helps also recharge ground water, which has already depleted to 48-50 metres and has very high hardness with TDS of 7000-9000 ppm.

PFEA will soon renovate the pump house, which is in dilapidated condition into a small maintenance room for the park. The room will also display information about flora and fauna in the park.

The park redevelopment had been just a small step and a good beginning of transformation of the Patparganj Industrial Area to achieve a bigger goal of green industrial park. PFEA and the industrialists are convinced that this success story would reduce pollution of groundwater and surrounding area, while helping in rainwater harvesting, improving ground water situation, beautifying the area and creating a social space for the workers to use the park for recreational purposes.

Highly motivated industrialists and the industrial association (PFEA) is now keen to develop a 10 meter wide green belt along the adjoin drain and redevelop more open spaces in the Patparganj Industrial Area into green spaces.

Testimonials

Mr. Ramnibas Goel, Honourable Member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly

"Each one of us should plant at least one tree so that we can provide cleaner environment to our future generation.”

Part of speech during the environment drive inauguration event in Patparganj Industrial Area. (Source DNA India)

 

Mr. Sanjay Gaur, President, PFEA

“We are thankful to DSIIDC and GIZ for their cooperation and motivating us to take up the Environment Improvement Drive. We will have more such drives in future and many more activities in the pipeline, and step by step, we are confident to make Patparganj Industrial Area into a role model for other industrial areas in Delhi to follow!”

 

Mr. S.K. Maheshwari, General Secretary, PFEA on the redevelopment of park

“By protecting of restoring environment we are not doing any great service to society. It’s our moral duty to handover quality of air, water and land which we got from our parents and to our children if we really love and care for our children.”

 

Mr. Satish Restogi, Sage Metals Ltd, On redevelopment of park

“Greener environment is a need of the time. The park redevelopment not only reduces solid waste from the area but it also creates a healthy environment, a cleaner place which will inspire people. It is good for both the area and the society”.

 

Transporter in Patparganj Industrial Area

“Previously there was no park, only a dump yard was there. The whole industrial area used to dump garbage here. The dump yard breeds lots of mosquitoes and other insects. We had no place to rest during our work breaks. Now the park is a nice place and we can use it as a sitting area during the break”.

 

Guard in ADEL, An Industry in the neighbourhood of the park

“Previously this place was used as open toilet and it was a smelly area. Now it is nice to look at and a very good resting place for us”.

 

Photographs

Before the intervention

After the intervention

Condition of the park in 2014

Park after Construction of boundary wall

Waste dumps in the park

Tree plantation by Mr. Ramnibas Goel, Honourable Member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly on June 6, 2016

Tree plantaiton by Ms Sandhya Sharma, Mayor of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation on 15th July 2016

Removal of waste dumps from the park

Levellign of the ground in the park

Lilipool Under construction

Laying of grass bed

New trees planted in the park

Grown up grass bed with flowering shrubs

 

 
SEIP

Mr. Sanjay Gaur, President, PFEA

“We are thankful to DSIIDC and GIZ for their cooperation and motivating us to take up the Environment Improvement Drive. We will have more such drives in future and many more activities in the pipeline, and step by step, we are confident to make Patparganj Industrial Area into a role model for other industrial areas in Delhi to follow!”

Other stakeholder testimonials on  transformation of a polluting junkyard in Patparganj Industrial Area

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