6:30 PM, I pressed the doorbell of my flat. As I was waiting for my brother to open the door, my eyes fell on a dozen cold drink bottles gathered in the polythene lying by the dustbin (No thanks to my cold drink addicted little brother). I picked them up and brought them inside. In about 30 minutes, I repurposed these bottles into these cute pen holders. What motivated me to do this at the end of a tedious work day? Because I imagined them being dumped in a place called Ghazipur Garbage Mountain and contributing to the horrible stink that will ruin my evening tea in my balcony.
Friends, I live in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad and at a very short distance of Ghazipur Garbage Mountain. When I saw it for the first time, I mistook this giant structure for Delhi ridge, extension of Aravalli (poor geography, I know). Living here for past two years, it has been my worst nightmare come true to stay so close to this ticking bomb. When I visited the flat for the first time, I imagined the spacious balcony as the perfect spot for stress busting. Little did I know that this would be the most depressing spot of my house, thanks to the view it offers.
This Mt Everest of Rubbish is 65 metres in height and is about to cross the height of Taj Mahal(75 m) by year 2020, making it the 8th wonder of the world for sure. Each season, the site exposes us to new perils. In summers, the fires last often for days due to the methane gas being emitted from the dump. The flood of smoke curling up from the dump gives the impression that the city is on fire. During monsoons, it stinks of deadly and noxious gases. Poor me, I was such a fan of the earthy scent produced when first rain falls on dry soil. And now that scent is foreboding. In winters, it is not visible from distance, thankfully the fog obscures it. But you can imagine the composition of fog in the nearby areas. It is a sureshot way to hell. True, I am not an early riser, but thought of having a morning walk (trek) in the Ghazipur surroundings wakes up the procrastinator in me instead and makes me bury my head in the cushions harder. The nights are worse with the smelly storms erupting in the crystal mountain by the alarm. The conditioning of gust of wind with horrible smell has made me stop associating the wind with the pleasant weather. At times I wonder, how much my lifespan has shortened by staying in the vicinity of this filthy mountain of doom (sorry mumma, your fasts won't be able to undo much).
Going along with the sarcastic rave reviews of this site on google, I stopped nearby to click a picture. The mound resembles a reclining ogre with smoke coming out of its many cervices and an unbearable smell seeping around. I am not sure whether I will be able to visit the world's most beautiful place, but definitely I have photographed the worst place in this world and was lucky enough to have a close look. This surely is the best place to feel death with the vultures and other bird of prey circling over the smoking mountain doom. Stray cows, dogs, rats and hundreds of waste pickers comb through the heaps of filth. Dozens of trucks shamelessly disgorging trash. The toxic leachate drained into Yamuna like rivulets of molten lava. It is not just a passive disaster, as predicted by many. In 2018, a section of the hill collapsed and buried two people alive. It is surrounded by the ghost flats, thanks to the advertisement of "Garbage side view" by the doomed builder. Another fun fact, the name Ghazipur and birds of prey hovering above the dumpyard, are shared by North India's largest Vegetable and chicken market.
I have posted these pictures of the site on to the Swatch Bharat twitter handle, but to no avail. Who on the earth can clean this festering mess? Who has the will? Can something be done? I can't answer these questions. What I can do is to tame these small demons (plastic bottles) into cute little pen holders and prevent them from landing into the ticking bomb.
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.
#saynotoplastic #recycle #beatplasticpollution #refusesingleuse