Mumbai: Fires at dump yards deliberate?

  • Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2015 22:23 IST

Tuesday’s fire at Mulund dumping ground, not even a month after the blaze at Deonar, has raised questions over recurring fire incidents in dumping yards.

Officials at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) suspect that site managers, who fear closure of the dump yards, are burning tonnes of garbage so that more waste can be accommodated.

“Site mangers could be working in collusion with civic body’s supervisors. Closure of dump yards would mean loss of business for many,” said an official.

With the BMC struggling to find alternate plots for dumping waste, the city’s existing dumping grounds at Mulund and Deonar have already reached saturation level. In the past two months, Deonar and Mulund dump yards have seen major fires releasing toxic gases and suffocating locals.

“We are aware of mischievous activities, but there has been no concrete proof. Despite deploying security, it is difficult to identify miscreants since the dumping grounds are spread across vast areas,” said Minesh Pimple, deputy chief engineer, solid waste management department, BMC.

Pimple said, “Tuesday’s fire at Mulund was most likely caused by chemicals released from the waste. Exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.” Some officials blame rag pickers. “They burn garbage to find metal,” said an official.

Kirit Somaiya, BJP MP, Mumbai north east constituency, under which both the grounds fall, said, “Fires occur due to release of methane gas or due to mischievous activities by people. We are looking for alternate plots.”

Contractors of both places were unavailable for comments.

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