The Ghazipur landfill, the tallest mountain of garbage in India, is on course to become taller than Taj Mahal, AFP reported on Tuesday. East Delhi’s Superintendent Engineer Arun Kumar said the landfill is nearly 65 metres (213 feet) high.

The rubbish heap grows 10 metres every year, the agency said. This will make it taller than the Taj Mahal (73 metres or 239 feet) by 2020. “About 2,000 tonnes of garbage is dumped at Ghazipur each day,” an unidentified Delhi municipal official told the news agency.

“It all needs to be stopped as the continuous dumping has severely polluted the air and ground water,” said Chitra Mukherjee, the head of environment advocacy group Chintan. She said the country’s growing wealth drives consumerism, which eventually increases the production of garbage that cannot be disposed properly.

Puneet Sharma, a 45-year-old resident of Ghazipur, told AFP that people have been falling sick because of the smell from the landfill.

Newly elected East Delhi BJP MP Gautam Gambhir had promised during the Lok Sabha election campaign that he would convert the landfill to a green space, PTI reported. “We will also make efforts to utilise the huge amount of waste to convert it into wealth in the form of energy,” the politician had said.

Landfill collapse of 2017

In October, the Delhi High Court ordered a ban on chicken slaughter at the Ghazipur poultry market, citing pollution and violation of rules in the area. The court ordered the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board to shut down poultry slaughter houses in the area within a week but allowed the sale of live birds.

The order was passed a year after a fire broke out at the landfill and spread over a large part of the area, said a Delhi Fire Service spokesperson.

In September 2017, a portion of the landfill collapsed, killing two people and trapping several others. The following day, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal banned authorities from dumping waste at the landfill. The National Green Tribunal then asked civic authorities for an action plan to stabilise the site of the landfill.