Irked with the frequent fires at the Mulund dumping ground, residents of neighbouring areas have shot off two letters within a month to the civic body and the state pollution control board, asking them to act against the health hazard.
“We have been forced to pen down our problems as authorities continue to overlook our issues. In April, the authorities had responded saying investigations were underway, however, I have not received any conclusive reply from them yet,” said Subhash Jagtap, a resident of Mulund (East).
A major fire was reported on May 13 at the Mulund dumping ground – the second such incident within a span of two months. The last fire was reported on April 1.
Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said active measures were being taken to control the situation. “Because of the rise in temperatures and other weather-related factors, the frequency of fires has increased,” said Pallavi Darade, additional municipal commissioner, BMC. “Inflammable materials should not be included while disposing garbage.”
Residents claimed the fire has resulted in smog in the area, and several people are facing difficulty in breathing. Doctors in the area said they received many patients suffering from lung and skin allergies. “There is nothing residents can do to protect themselves. A solution can only be devised if there is proper management at the source (dumping ground), or else, a biochemical hazard is in the making,” said Dr Vinay Gopalani, a dermatologist and resident of Hari Om Nagar, Mulund.
RC Das, whose apartment faces the dumping ground, said he could not leave his house since the last fire and was forced to keep his doors and windows shut. “I experience constant chest and nasal congestion, and it becomes stuffy indoors,” said Das.
HT had, on April 1, reported on a January 2014 letter addressed to the municipal commissioner by the state pollution control board, stating about 4,500 metric tonnes of waste from 12 ward offices was being dumped at the Mulund dumping yard every day, without proper treatment. The letter also said the site was being operated in an unscientific manner.