Don’t dump near Thane creek at Deonar, says panel

  • Faisal Malik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2016 00:24 IST
Deonar dumping ground has piles of garbage that are about 20 to 30 metres in height. (HT Photo)

Dumps at Deonar landfill have reached about 20-30 metres in height from the side of Thane creek and thus dumping on these areas should be stopped, the two-member central probe committee has suggested in its report on fire incidents at the dumping ground.

The committee has also asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to stop dumping of organic waste and instead it be diverted for composting.

The committee has also recommended the waste heaps be divided in to grids or cells on priority so that access and approach can be improved to tackle such fire incidents.

Meanwhile, BMC is again gearing up to monitor the site with drones. This will be followed with 10-15 watch towers to counter the possibilities of unauthorised entries.

This is part of the measures in the proposed plan of the BMC presented before the two-member committee.

The two-member committee comprising E. Thirunavukkarasu, scientist from the ministry of environment and forests and climate change and Prasoon Gargava, another scientist at Central Pollution Control Board had visited Deonar dumping ground on March 22 in the backdrop repeated incidents of fire and emission of toxic gases at the site.

In its report that was submitted to the MoEF recently, the committee has suggested majorly five measures for the BMC. It has also asked the civic body (BMC) to comply with all the directives given by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) issued in order to avoid such incidents in the future and subsequent spread of heavy thick smoke in adjoining areas. A copy of the report is with HT.

The two-member central committee has suggested for the arrangement for venting/flaring/utilisation of the methane gas from the huge heaps proper scientific study as it have low explosive limit with respect to temperature and have potential to trigger fire with rise in temperature.

Significantly, BMC wants to restrict entry of rag pickers to the site.

But the committee has suggested the civic body to integrate rag pickers in collection and segregation of waste. This will enable it to recover recyclable waste and also reduce the quantity of waste at the dump site, it states.

Confirming the same, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said they have already ordered the BMC to submit short-term, medium-term and long-term plan for measures to be taken for Deonar dumping ground within 10 days.

“Once received, we will review and take the decision accordingly. We are regularly monitoring the situation,” he pointed out.

MoEF is also expecting a report on closing of Mulund dumping ground and a report from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Deonar dumping ground, he added. TCS has been asked to advise MoEF on how to deal with the 12 million tonnes of waste pile-up at the dumping site.

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