Highlighting the poor management of garbage in Mumbai, another fire was reported on Wednesday at the Mulund dumping ground.
This is the second instance of fire at the dumping ground in two months. A fire had erupted at the ground on April 1 too. Local residents said the blaze has been raging since Tuesday evening and complained of a lot of smoke in the area.
According to civic officials, the fire is similar to the earlier incident. “We are yet to ascertain the cause of fire. Senior officials and the fire brigade team went to the spot, however, it will take some time for the situation to be brought under control as the location is difficult to reach,” said Minesh Pimple, deputy chief engineer, solid waste management, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
S Subraminan, member of Hari Om Nagar Apex Body Federation – an association of residents living in the vicinity of the dump, said: “The fire has spread as far as Thane (West). We are finding it difficult to breathe owing to the smoke.”
Subramanian added that the residents are becoming apprehensive and many have decided to leave the area.
Doctors said the smoke can cause several health problems such as lung allergies and skin allergies.
“A bio-chemical tragedy is waiting to strike. A solution can only be devised if there is proper management at the source,” said Dr Vinay Gopalani, a dermatologist and a local resident.
With an area of 25 acres, the Mulund dumping ground receives 2,500 metric tonnes of waste a day, according to the BMC. It is close to saturation now.
RC Das, a resident of Mulund whose apartment building faces the dumping ground, said he had to keep his doors and windows shut.
“If we go out or open the windows, our eyes start burning immediately. It is clear that authorities are not bothered, what else will residents do but leave.”