5 days later, fire rages on at Deonar landfill

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2016 22:30 IST

Fire at the city’s largest dumping ground, Deonar, has still not receded, even after five days of continuous efforts by around 100 firemen. A massive fire was reported from the landfill on March 20, which engulfed Deonar and nearby areas like Govandi, Chembur, Rafiq Nagar and Ghatkopar in heavy smoke.

The civic body’s disaster management department said fire-fighting and cooling operations were still on as several pocket fires continue to pop up. A fire brigade official involved in the fire-fighting operation said, “The operations might take some more time if the wind pattern doesn’t change. The high wind velocity is creating a hurdle.”

As the dumping ground continues to burn, the waste generated from the city, is still being dumped at the ground daily. Around 5,000- 6,000 metric tonnes of waste is being dumped every day without being treated.

A similar fire at the 132-acre dumping ground, had created havoc in January too, and it took fire-fighters a week to get it under control.

Since then, eight pockets fires have been reported from the landfill.

Experts said the unsystematic dumping of waste for more than 98 years has led to accumulation of combustible methane gas that has been stoking fires.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), after the fire earlier this year, appointed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to suggest the feasibility of setting up a waste-to-energy plant at Deonar.

The IIT-Bombay had suggested putting a system in place to capture methane gas and remove it completely from the dumping ground. However, the BMC is yet to implement the system.

IIT-B is now designing a methane well to tap the gas. Until then, the BMC is struggling to control the fire.


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