A major fire broke out at the Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan on Tuesday evening. It took seven hours to control the fire on the 4-acre dumping ground near Durgadi bridge but the fire is yet to be doused completely.
More than 14 fire engines and 12 water tankers were pressed into service. Fire tenders were also called from the municipal corporations from Bhiwandi, Ambernath and Ulhasnagar.
“The fire broke out around 3.30pm. The fire could not be doused immediately because of the strong wind,” said Sudhakar Kulkarni, fire officer of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).
This is the first time that a major fire has broken out at Adharwadi dumping ground. Thick smoke covered the area, affecting visibility. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
“We have not seen such a huge fire at the dump yard,” said a civic employee.
Five months ago, a major fire broke out at Deonar dumping ground, taking days to be doused.
Kalyan residents have been demanding the KDMC to shift the dump yard away from the city.
“Suddenly, we saw the entire area filled with smoke. This is the first time we have seen such a major fire in the dumping ground. We are facing difficulty in breathing,” said Santosh Mane, 33, who lives near the dumping ground.
The areas have been affected are Maharashtra Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Adharwadi, Sathe Nagar and Wadekar. The residential area is around 50 metres from the dumping ground. The The Adharwadi dumping ground is surrounded by residential areas, a hospital and a college which is hardly 200 metres away.
More than 2,000 residents have been shifted to safer places as smoke and smog filled the area.
Namdev Choudhary, officer from Adharwadi fire station, said: “We are using well water to douse the fire. We have used than lakhs of litres of water to douse the fire but it is still burning.”
Dilip Gaund, chief fire officer from Kalyan division, said it might take the entire night for the fire to be completely doused. “The fire might have been caused due to excessive heat for the past few days.”
The police are making arrangements at a school to shift the residents.
Additional commissioner of police (zone 3) Vijay Kumar Phulkar said: “We have been going round the areas to shift residents till the fire is doused. We have make arrangements for those evacuated at Sharda Vidhya Mandir at Lal Chowki. Smoke has engulfed 2 kilometres around the dump yard.”
ABOUT THE DUMP YARD
The 4-acre Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan (West) handles 700 metric tonnes of solid waste a day.
Without any scientific procedure to dispose waste, pollution has worsened in the nearby areas.
The KDMC has been using the Adharwadi dumping ground since 1984.
The KDMC has plans to scientifically shut down the dumping ground and shift it away from the city.