Downstream Stories

India, Okhla, Delhi


Okhla, Delhi, India

Okhla waste-to-energy was the first large-scale plant opened in Delhi in 2012. The land for setting up this plant was strictly earmarked for setting up a composting facility for biodegradable waste. However, despite huge public resistance, the plant was set up to burn about 1,950 tons of mixed garbage everyday. The plant has caused irreparable damages to the health of the population nearby, especially women and children. For example, the people have chronic cough problems, lung disorders, eye and skin ailments, and cancer. Pregnant women are strongly advised to relocate and children are forbidden from playing outdoors. The plant operator, Jindal Urban Infra Limited  was also fined rupees twenty five lakhs for releasing dioxins and furans ten times above the prescribed limits and committing various other environmental violations. The impunity with which they continue to flout the environmental norms is highly distressing. However, from doing strikes to approaching the judiciary, the story of the community’s resistance towards the Waste-To-Energy plant is hugely inspiring. Despite registering such strong protests and having all the documentation against the Waste-To-Energy plant, the government has recently given a nod for the expansion of the plant from the current 1950 TPD to 3000 TPD. The inspiring journey of their struggle for justice continues. 

Downstream Community Stories



Anant says that it has been a story of illegal action from day one.

The plant was built next to a bird sanctuary, in complete disregard of the law.


Resident and lawyer

Devrat calls out the violation of the law, with regard to the building and operating of the plant near the bird sanctuary and habitations.


Resident of Sukhdev Vihar

Varna describes how the pollution impacts her life as a resident. For her, the situation is absurd.

Doctor & Resident of Haji Colony

Rehman says that his mother who came to visit had to cut her trip short due to the negative impacts the facility had on her health. He says that there is not enough resistance by the community.


Doctor & Resident of Sukhdev Vihar

Neeta is a doctor and resident. She speaks of the respiratory issues residents have and the negative impact it has on their daily lives.

The Holy Family Hospital near the Waste-To-Energy facility.

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Shot on location with the help of the Media collective and the Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA).

The community living in the vicinity of the Waste-To-Energy plants have suffered irreparable health and livelihood damages because of the WTE plants. They demand immediate shutting down of the plant. 


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