Citizen groups gathered outside the Sion headquarters of the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Monday, demanding punitive action against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its failure to control recurring fires at the Deonar dumping ground.
Wearing masks and holding placards, members of Watchdog Foundation, Save Our Land and Bombay East India Association submitted a memorandum on the failure of the solid waste management department of the BMC in controlling the fire to senior MPCB officials and sent copies to the union environment ministry, environment minister Prakash Javadekar and the Central Pollution Control Board.
The groups said residents of Chembur, Govandi, Mankhurd and Navi Mumbai were breathing polluted air because of the fires. They said the BMC’s solid waste management department has failed to ensure implementation of rules.“The rules drafted 16 years ago had clear guidelines for collection of methane produced by decomposition of garbage and examples of equipment required to trap it. Simple rules have also been drafted to monitor air quality, for waste segregation and installation of a weigh bridge for fast collection and disposal of garbage,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation. A senior official from MPCB said, “We have taken cognisance of the complaints and the memorandum. .”
City based NGOs also demanded the reinstatement of former Mumbai regional officer of the MPCB Dilip Khedekar, who was transferred a week after he ordered 32 ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plants to shut shop.