With the richest civic body, which has a solid waste management allocation of more than Rs300 crore unable to contain the fire in one of the city’s biggest dumping ground for six days, the fire brigade is now sprinkling magnesium chloride (hydrant) on the garbage, as suggested by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
The sporadic fire in some pockets, which the experts said is because of methane trapped in the garbage, has led to smoke covering the area from Chembur, Deonar, Govandi to as far as Andheri. NEERI has also suggested the BMC install methane recovery wells to release methane from the dumping ground. Residents around the dumping ground complained of aggravated fire on Monday night too.
“The fire is under control but not completely doused as some pockets continue to burn. Earlier, we tried using water and mud to control the heat. Each dump is emanating methane, which adds to the he fire. We are now sprinkling magnesium chloride on the garbage. It is proving to be helpful and has reduced the smoke considerably,” said a fire officer.
Deonar has exceeded the limits of garbage being dumped. Fire officers said the mismanagement could lead to a wildfire-like situation.
Local corporator Rais Shaikh alleged no senior official are present at night, leading to chaos and absence of a fire-fighting operation. “We are staying put at night to ensure the fire-fighting operations go on smoothly,” he said.
Fire officials complained that no officer from the solid waste management department has entered inside the dumping ground to provide technical support. Mayor Snehal Ambekar, leader of the house Trushna Vishwasrao and standing committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse visited the Deonar dumping ground on Tuesday. The Congress on protested outside the municipal chief’s cabin, demanding closure of the dumping ground.