For the second year in a row, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) lack of vision might just cost the city. The civic body is fast running out of space to dump the silt material collected from the desilting of nullahs, and it has now asked the suburban collector to allot it a plot in Malad, near Aksa beach, to dump the silt.
Last year too, mid-way during the pre-monsoon preparations, the civic body realised that it didn’t have enough space to dump the silt and had asked the collector to allot more space. It was given extra 20 acres at the same Malad plot.
This year, the civic body had been dumping silt at Deonar and Mulund. Continuous dumping of silt has taken its toll at the Deonar dump yard. LS Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drains, said the silt dump had already reached a height of 34 m, which is close to the limit set by the Airports Authority of India. “We will have to take fresh permissions from the Airports Authority of India if it crosses 40 m. We have written to the collector, asking him to hand us over the Malad plot so that silt from the Western suburbs can be dumped there.”
The Mumbai suburban collector Nirmalkumar Deshmukh said: “I will forward the proposal to the state for its sanction on Wednesday.”
The civic body has asked the collector to allot 25 acres of the plot, which belongs to a private trust. According to a senior official of the solid waste management, the Deonar yard was creating problems. “First, there isn’t enough space for the humongous quantity of silt at Deonar. Second, since there is a single lane for entering the ground and long queues of trucks disrupt the normal functioning of the yard.”
The official said, 1,000 vehicles enter the Deonar dump yard daily, their number rises to 2,000 before the monsoon. Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said: “If we continue dumping it, it might cause a problem with the Airports Authority of India. We are looking at possible options to explore options for the next year, like having a separate facility to dump silt at the Kanjurmarg dumping ground.”