As the bioreactor technology was earlier used at the site even in the absence of the required clearance, amendment has been sought to the ecoclearance granted to the Kanjurmarg landfill, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) admitted in its affidavit filed before the Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday.
The clearance for the site allows the civic body to use windrows composting to process 4,000 tonnes of waste a day.
While windrows composting involves production of compost by piling mounds of biodegradable waste and produces large volume of compost, the bioreactor technique ensures quicker decomposition of waste.
The affidavit was discussed and taken on record on Wednesday during the hearing of the public interest litigation.
In December 2012, NGO Vanashakti had complained to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) stating that the environment clearance conditions were not being complied with. Taking note of the issue, the MPCB had questioned the BMC on the use of bioreactors at the Kanjurmarg dumping ground.
The BMC’s fresh clearance for using the bioreactor landfill technology is pending with the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), which is awaiting MPCB’s comments on the impact of the change in technology on the environment.
“Till the violation of environmental clearance was not pointed out, the BMC continued to use the bioreactor landfill technology. Even the MPCB did not notice this during their visits,” said Stalin D, director (projects), Vanashakti.
The court said that the BMC should not carry out any fresh dumping activity till they get a clearance from the assessment authority.
Consequently, the Deonar dumping ground will have to deal with the load from the site.
Responding to the ministry of environment and forests’ (MoEF) site visit report that had slammed the reclaiming of wetlands outside the prescribed area of 65 hectares, the BMC requested the HC bench to allow them to hold a private hearing with the MoEF.