Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday visited the Deonar dumping ground, which has been in the news owing to the frequent fires and the resultant air pollution, and used the occasion to lambast Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Swachh Bharat mission.
“The prime minister just talks about Swachh Bharat. Although there is sloganeering, there is no strategy to carry it out. There is no vision. I have been told people of Mumbai are suffering because of the pollution at Deonar. Many children are suffering from tuberculosis, one child died in the area [Deonar]. Talking about Swachh Bharat and making it swachh are two different things,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi, along with senior Congress leaders, including Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, surveyed the ground and demanded it be shut.
“Mumbai is a symbol of progress, so the dumping yard should be shut. They [BJP] are in power at Centre and the state. The chief minister must take action. The BJP must walk the talk,” said Gandhi.
Doing away with his regular style of meeting people, Gandhi refrained from interacting with the locals, apparently because of security reasons. He did not address the crowd.
The locals, however, were not impressed. Momina Khatun, 54-year-old homemaker who came to the Deonar dumping yard to catch a glimpse of Gandhi, said, “I don’t know what good will come out of his visit. I came here to see Rahul Gandhi.”
Wajimullah, 45- year old worker in a scrap market, said, “Many politicians have visited the dumping yard in the past, but nothing positive has happened. Today’s visit is also a political stunt.”