As the Bombay high court’s (HC) November deadline to close down Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds nears, it is likely that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may seek at least one year’s extension.
Also, the other related projects that the HC had ordered the BMC to do in a year are far from over, including finalising an alternate plot to dump waste, set up processing plants at the landfills and practising waste segregation.
The BMC had also tried to set up waste-to-energy plant in the city and small processing plants at the ward level for effective solid waste management, but the plans has not taken off.
AS Ansari, chief engineer of solid waste management department, said, “A major problem will be solved once the land at Taloja is handed over for dumping but we are waiting for the state government to do their bit. Considering the massive administrative procedure, it will take us at least a year or more to close the two dumping grounds.”
Similarly, setting up processing plants at Deonar did not take off as civic officials blamed the government for not granting permission to lease out land to the contractor for setting up the plant.
The state urban development officials, however, said permission was not granted owing to the flawed tendering process while appointing the firm. The BMC, meanwhile, is not willing to reissue the tenders. State government officials clarified that Deonar land would not be leased to a contractor until the civic body re-tenders the contract in a legal manner.
Manisha Mhaiskar, the principal secretary of state urban development department, said, “We are awaiting a joint report from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the BMC, following which the process to hand over the Taloja land will be initiated. The chief minister has assured that the land at Taloja will be handed over.”
Other initiatives such as waste segregation and small processing plants are moving at snails’ pace. Setting up a waste-to-energy plant at Deonar had also been planned by the BMC but there is no significant development. Civic officials said it will take at least two years to set up these plants.