Residents of Chembur, Vashi and other areas around the Deonar garbage dump have planned a gathering on Tuesday at Azad Maidan to protest against the municipal corporation’s failure to stop fires at the dump.
“We were promised by the chief minister that another incident of fire from the Deonar landfill will not happen. But only a month later, this fire has begun choking us again,” said Priya Fonseca, resident of Chembur. “We will be wearing black clothes and masks as a sign of protest from 10am onwards for the right to breathe clean air.”
Residents living close to the dumping ground pointed out that on the third day, the smoke was carried by strong winds towards Navi Mumbai on Monday morning and there was no improvement by the evening as the blaze was seen spreading from one location to the other. Chembur resident Vandana Tripathi said, “The air that we are breathing today is poisonous, could lead to cancer, birth deformity, tuberculosis. It is a slow poison, possibly leading to premature death.”
Nirupama More, resident of Govandi told HT that she did not send her children to school on Monday to protect them from outdoor activities. “Adults, senior citizens and children are all suffering due to the thick smog that civic authorities have been unable to control. The situation is getting worse by the minute as people are neither going outside in fear of breathing toxic air nor are we able to shut windows and doors because it gets too stuffy,” she said.
Navi Mumbai resident Vinod Punshi pointed out that throughout Sunday the smoke had spread all the way up to Vashi and even Belapur. “The density of the smoke decreased on Monday but visibility was still poor. When we went out for our morning walk, there was hardly any visibility. There is an irritation in the eyes and we are forced to keep our doors and windows shut,” he said.