Civic corporators slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration wing on Friday for its failure to control fires at the Deonar dumping ground. The councillors pointed out the BMC's delay in implementing measures that were promised at the beginning of the year, when major fires posed a health risk to residents in the nearby areas of Chembur, Mankhurd and Govandi.
On Friday, the administration tabled a proposal in the standing committee to construct 11 watch towers to monitor movements inside the ground, a measure promised eight months ago. Though the proposal was passed, corporators questioned the delay in implementing the measure.
"In the past two months itself, there have been many fires in the dump. Still, measures that were promised in April, such as CCTV cameras and watch towers are yet to be implemented. Next year, the elections will be fought on the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds,” said Rais Shaikh, a Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator from Govandi.
Shaikh noted the 2017 municipal elections scheduled to be held in February. In February and March this year, three major fires were followed by many fires in pockets of the ground, even after the monsoon.
"Last week, there was a fire in Deonar. We felt helpless. All the eastern suburbs get affected by the smoke. It is high time the administration gets serious about the issue,” said Pravin Chheda, a Congress corporator from Ghatkopar.
Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner presiding over the meeting said the BMC had suggested a slew of measures including watch towers, security, CCTV cameras, constant patrolling, providing fire equipment, constructing compound walls and providing debris to stabilise the garbage.
"As much as 35 hectares of the ground has been stabilised with debris. We have security, one fire engine and a water tanker at the spot. Currently, there are 12 CCTV cameras, 40 more will be installed soon. We have tabled the proposal for watch towers,” said Mukherjee.