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Repairs begin at abattoir

Motors set up to supply water submersible pipes get fixed, reports Gigil Varghese.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 19:07 IST

Through most of Sunday the staff at Deonar abattoir, along with their general manager, were in damage-control mode — fixing defective pipelines that led to the breakdown of the waste disposal system. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started repair works a day after HT reported on the disaster brewing at the abattoir.

The pipes that supply water and carry the sludge to the waste treatment plant have been out of order for nine days, leading to a pile up of skin, bones, blood and dung that was being cleared through a slow and inefficient manual process.

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“As a temporary solution we have set up motors that will supply water to clean the floors of the abattoir. We have also started repairing the submersible pipes. It will be repaired in a day or two at the cost of Rs 30,000,” said Dr K Kalkar, deputy general manager of the abattoir.

Almitra Patel — a member of the Supreme Court panel that recommended methods of disposing abattoir waste — too, had her own suggestions. “There is a simple odourless manner in which the waste can be disposed. Some waste digesting bio-culture made from microbes in nature has to be spread over the liquid and solid waste. This helps digest the sludge. The recycled water produced due to the process can be used to clean spaces in the abattoir,” she told HT from Bangalore, adding, however, that there needs to strong will to implement this.

The Deonar abattoir, which is managed by the BMC, has about 750 skilled and unskilled labourers. It is the responsibility of the civic body to supply clean hygienic meat to the city. Since the waste disposal system was not functioning for nine days, the meat was exposed to a host of dangerous bacteria and virus, which could cause food poisoning, gastro enteritis, diarrhoea and lung infections. Moreover, when HT visited the abattoir on Saturday, the workers were not wearing gloves or any protective gear.

About 500 cattle and about 6,000 pigs, sheep and goats are slaughtered at the abattoir daily and about 15 million litres of waste is generated. This untreated waste was being released into the sewerage system, which in turn empties itself into the sea posing serious environmental hazards. It also reduces the oxygen level in the sea.

Author email: gigil.varghese@hindustantimes.com