Making alternative arrangements to dump waste will prove costly for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The civic body will have to spend at least Rs 120 crore to acquire land from private owners for the Taloja dumping ground in Navi Mumbai.
The BMC is in the final stage of completing its research on the 110-acre land and will put forth the proposal to the standing committee for the approval of funds in a few weeks.
Civic officials, however, said that though the state government has given an in principle nod to use the Taloja plot for dumping garbage, a written notification is yet to be received.
“We are ready with the process, but the state government’s notification is yet to come. Till the time we get that, nothing can be done,” said Minesh Pimple, chief engineer, solid waste management (projects).
The Taloja land would mean city’s dumping grounds — Mulund and Deonar — would be less burdened and can eventually be closed as they have crossed their saturation levels. The 14-acre land is owned by private persons from whom it will be acquired.
However, citizen activists said Rs 120 crore burden could have been avoided if the BMC had its solid waste management system in place.
“If the civic authorities ensured contractors processed the waste in a scientific manner in Mulund and Deonar, t hese problems would not have arrived,” said Rajkumar Sharma, co ordinator of NGO Action for good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).
“We are aiming for the proposal to be sent for approval to standing committee by next month. The process has been fast tracked,” said Pallavi Darade, additional municipal commissioner (city), who heads the solid waste management department.
A senior civic official said every hectare of land to be acquired by a private party costs Rs 2 crore as per market price and the BMC will have to shell out four times more than that, apart from an additional 25% of the actual cost.
“Ideally, the state government has to make provisions for the dumping ground for the civic body, but in this case, we are spending for it,” he said.
Last November, the Bombay HC gave the state government one year to find an alternate plot and shut the two dumping grounds. The civic body, however, is seeking an extension. Also, additional cost will be incurred to transport waste from the city to Taloja in Navi Mumbai.