Even as the fire at Deonar, the city’s largest dumping ground, is yet to be doused, the Mulund dumping ground, the second largest waste disposal facility in Mumbai, according to sources and locals, too, might be just awaiting a disaster.
Those in the know of things claim the situation at Mulund is similar to Deonar and little has been done by the civic body to prevent a fire at the dumpyard, which is on the border of Mumbai. Just like Deonar, garbage is dumped at the Mulund landfill without any treatment. With no methane collection system to tap the gas which has led to pocket fires at Deonar for almost two months, the 48-year-old dumpyard at Mulund, too, is vulnerable to fire.
Moreover, the civic body has not conducted a contour survey to get an estimate of the total garbage dumped at the Mulund facility. Similar to Deonar, the pile of waste at some spots is as high as 28m.
A fire was reported at the Mulund landfill on Sunday, but civic officials termed it minor and said it was immediately brought under control.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta said he has asked local officials to be on alert to prevent any Deonar-like incident at Mulund.
Of the 9,600 metric tonnes of waste generated from the city daily, approximately 6,000 metric tonnes is dumped at Deonar and Mulund daily. In case of a fire at Deonar, the Mulund dumping ground gets the additional burden of 1,500-2,000 metric tonnes of garbage daily from there. The only other option for the civic body is the Kanjurmarg dumping ground.
The BMC’s plan of scientific closure of the Mulund dumpyard will take at least nine months to be completed. Tenders have been floated for appointment of contractors to process waste at the dumping ground. A processing plant will be set up on four hectares of the dumping ground,” said a senior civic official.
Meanwhile, at Deonar the condition remains the same, as some of the pockets emitting smoke are unreachable. Following complaints of use of potable water, the BMC will now use water from Ashish Talao in Chembur.
“The fire at Deonar is under control, only some pocket fires remain to be tackled. Contractors will be appointed next week and the work on bore-wells will start by Monday,” said Mehta.