Citizens from across the city joined hands to come together and launch a protest movement against handing over the city’s dumping grounds for closure, albeit at “highly exaggerated costs”.
Protesting against what they call the BMC’s intentioned discrepancies between practice and policy, citizens will be launching a wider movement to shake ‘civil society into action’ with the first meeting to be held this Sunday.
Rajkumar Sharma from the advanced locality management and networking action committee said, “The meeting will be the launch of a sustained campaign against handing over of the Deonar dumping ground for closure, at a cost of Rs 3,495 crores when it could have happened for free.”
The BMC had agreed to offer private firms the handling of the closure of dumping grounds for a ‘tipping fee’ of Rs 445 per tonne of garbage brought in.
A tipping fee is levied by the contractor per tonne of garbage received, generally meant to offset the cost of transporting the garbage from the gate to the treatment plant inside.
Environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the BMC paying a private firm a tipping fee. This, even when a Central body, National Building Construction Company (NBCC), had offered to conduct the closure with zero tipping fees, the PIL said.
“The NBCC was doing it for free and it could have saved the city Rs 4,000 crore. Why did the BMC then give it to a private firm, spending precious public money?” asks Sharma.
The meeting to be held on Sunday will include expert on waste management Dr Almitra Patel, also a member of the SC committee on solid waste management. The meeting will be held at Bal Vikas Sangh Hall, next to Gandhi Maidan, near Chembur Post Office, D.K. Sandu Marg, Chembur at 10.30 am.