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  • Gunraagh Talwar

The Dark Side of Urbanization: A Look at the Bhalswa Landfill

The Bhalswa landfill in Delhi, India is a prime example of how urbanization can have a detrimental effect on the environment and the lives of those living nearby. Located in the northern part of the city, the landfill has been in operation for over 50 years and has grown to be one of the largest in Asia, spanning an area of nearly 140 acres. On the surface, the Bhalswa landfill may appear to be just another part of the urban landscape, but the reality is that it is concealing a much darker side. The landfill is home to some of the worst living conditions in the city, with residents living in the surrounding areas facing a range of health and environmental issues. One of the biggest problems caused by the landfill is the release of methane and other greenhouse gases, which contribute to air pollution and climate change. The gases are not only harmful to the environment but also to the health of those living nearby, with residents reporting respiratory problems and other health issues.


In addition to the environmental concerns, the Bhalswa landfill also poses a significant health risk to the people living in the area. The landfill is not properly managed, and as a result, the garbage is often not covered, allowing for the spread of diseases and pests. The garbage also attracts rats and other vermin, which can carry diseases such as plague and typhus. Furthermore, the residents living near the Bhalswa landfill are among the poorest in the city and often do not have access to basic amenities like clean water and sanitation. They are forced to live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, with little access to healthcare or other services.


The Bhalswa landfill serves as a stark reminder of the negative impact of urbanization on the environment and the lives of those living nearby. It is imperative that steps are taken to address the issues caused by the landfill and to improve the living conditions of those living in the area. This could include measures such as proper waste management, providing access to clean water and sanitation, and investing in healthcare and other services for residents.

In light of the dire living conditions and environmental issues caused by the Bhalswa landfill, there have been efforts to address these problems and improve the area.


Better Bhalswa aims to turnaround the degenerate landscape of the area by offering an ecosystem of solutions co-created with citizens, stakeholders, and action agencies. Better Bhalswa is a collaborative effort to address the various issues caused by the Bhalswa landfill, such as proper waste management, access to clean water and sanitation, and investment in healthcare and other services for residents. This initiative aims to work with local communities, government agencies, and other stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and the people living in the area.


The Bhalswa landfill fractures the urbanscape of Delhi, and it's high time that the authorities take appropriate measures to address the issues caused by the landfill, and improve the living conditions of the people living in the area. The Better Bhalswa initiative is a positive step towards addressing the issues caused by the Bhalswa landfill and improving the living conditions of those living in the area. By working with local communities, government agencies, and other stakeholders, the initiative aims to create sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and the people living in the area.

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