The fire at the Deonar dumping ground, which had been raging for three days, was finally brought under control on Sunday. Civic officials said they were in the process of ensuring another fire did not happen at the spot.
“We inspected the area thoroughly. It will take us one more day to make the dumping ground completely fire safe,” said Minesh Pimple, deputy chief engineer, solid waste management, BMC.
The fire had left the areas nearby engulfed in thick smoke. Residents had complained of breathing problems, low visibility and an acrid smell. The smoke had spread to Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Chembur, Deonar, Navi Mumbai, Sion, Wadala and even parts of south Mumbai, such as Byculla.
Irked residents on Saturday started an online petition, demanding the dumping ground be closed. The petition, addressed to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, states: “Shut down the Deonar garbage dumping site and disallow dumping of garbage with immediate effect.”
One of the petitioners said, “The dumping ground used to be a secluded spot 30 years ago, but not anymore. BMC needs to move the dumping ground out of the city and a proper recycling system should be adopted.”
The petition had the support of 233 citizens on Sunday.
Rais Shaikh, local corporator, has threatened an agitation if the dumping ground issue is not addressed. In a letter to civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte, Shaikh has said, “Tonnes of garbage is being dumped close to human habitat, which is unacceptable. We will be compelled to call for an agitation if this does not stop immediately.”