Where will Mumbai’s waste go in 8 months? | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Where will Mumbai’s waste go in 8 months?

According to a Bombay HC order, from June 30, 2017, the Mumbai civic body cannot dump waste at the city’s two largest dump yards. But does the civic body have a plan in place?

mumbai Updated: Nov 02, 2016 00:29 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Tenders are yet to be floated for the city’s largest dump yard — Deonar — that has been functioning for over 90 years
Tenders are yet to be floated for the city’s largest dump yard — Deonar — that has been functioning for over 90 years(HT File Photo)

Eight months from now, Mumbai will have no space to dump the 5,200 metric tonnes of garbage that travels from our homes to the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds every day.

Why?After frequent fires at the Deonar dump yard earlier this year, a Bombay high court order in February said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will not be allowed to dump any more waste at the two main dumping sites starting June 30, 2017.

But does the country’s richest civic body have a backup plan? The BMC has to either figure out a way to process this waste or find a new dump yard for it. Those in the know say neither seems likely.

At Deonar, the city’s largest dump yard functioning for more than 90 years, tenders are yet to be floated to set up a waste processing unit. Even if the BMC works around the clock to get clearances and find contractors for the project, it will take two years, experts said.

And, with tender conditions putting the onus of getting environmental clearances from the centre and state on the bidding companies, experts fear closing the Deonar dumping ground will be delayed further. Other roadblocks include green rules and high court orders that don’t allow the construction of such a plant in highly populated areas. In some cases, the HC has ruled such plants should be up to 50km outside the city. The amount of work remaining to open a waste processing unit is such, said analysts, it cannot be started in eight months, let alone completed.

Steps to safely close down the Mulund dump yard is already running into trouble. After three deadline extensions for tenders over three months, the civic body has not received a single bidder.

“This is first time in the country that projects of such a large scale (Deonar and Mulund) have been taken up. We want to take suggestions from IIT and NEERI,” said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be named. If waste processing units are not set up in time, the city does not have enough land to which the waste can be redirected. The state is yet to allot a proposed dumping ground at Taloja in Navi Mumbai.

While setting the June 2017 deadline, the HC also appointed a six-member committee to ensure there were no more fires and to check if the civic body was working towards meeting the deadline.

“There have been five meetings with BMC, but at the present pace, it is impossible for BMC to meet the deadline,” said a committee member, not wishing to be named.

Waste solutions

-As per the Bombay High Court order, BMC cannot dump fresh waste at Deonar and Mulund from 30th June 2017

-9,500 metric tonnes of waste is generated in the city

*The two dump yards together hold 14.38 million tonnes of waste.

Amount of waste at Mulund is 5.35 million cubic meters or 2.38 million tonnes (MSW compacted in truck density considered is 1 cubic meter is 444.95 kg)

-5,200 metric tonnes of waste dumped at (Mulund and Deonar) daily

3,000 metric tonnes at Deonar

2,200 metric tonnes at Mulund

Deonar:

-1927 was the year when Deonar dumping ground was opened. It has now reached its saturation point.

-132 hectares is the size of the dumping ground

-BMC aims to process 3,000 metric tonnes of waste at Deonar through waste to energy plant, generating 25-30 megawatt of energy. The plant will be functional for 25 years.

Mulund:

24 hectares is the area of the Mulund dumping ground

4 hectares is the area of the processing plant to be set up

30 lakh metric tonnes is the total waste to be processed

7,50,000 metric tonnes is the waste to be processed in the first phase

10,50,000 metric tonnes waste is to be processed in the second phase

12,00,000 metric tonnes is the waste to be processed in the third phase