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Adharwadi fires: Kalyan residents take to streets demanding closure of dump yard

The frequent incidents of fire are causing breathing issues among residents.

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2018 19:28 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
The dump yard has caught fire thrice this month. (Rishikesh Chaudhary/HT Photo)

Residents of Kalyan, mostly women and senior citizens, took to the streets on Monday, protesting the dumping of waste at Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan (West).

Locals demanded immediate closure of the dumping ground, which has caught fire thrice in a week this month alone — on March 6, 10 and 11. The frequent fires at the dump yard, which is spread over 15 acres, have led to severe air pollution, causing respiratory and breathing issues among many residents who live close to the dump yard. “We have been suffering from various health issues for the past several years. This year, it’s worse as the dumping ground has been catching fire often, due to which there is thick smoke in the area all the time,” said Mamta Jain, 38.

The fire on March 11 was a major incident, and it was fully doused by fire officials only after three days, on March 14.

A group of residents and representatives of the Dumping Ground Hatao Sangharsh Samiti, Kalyan threatened to boycott civic elections in the future, if their demand was not met.

“We will keep protesting until the dumping ground is closed. We don’t want it in our area. The civic body should take our demands seriously,” said Mahesh Bankar, founder member of the Samiti. “We will also boycott the civic elections in future if our demands are neglected again.”

The group met newly appointed Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) chief Govind Bodke, and explained their problems to him. Bodke has assured them that he will visit the dump yard on Wednesday and take necessary action.

Bodke said: “Residents met me and demanded immediate closure of the dump yard. They also explained the health problems they face because of the thick smoke emitted by the fire. I have assured them that the civic body will take immediate short-term as well as long-term measures, after my visit to the dump yard on Wednesday.”

After the June 2016 fire at the dump yard, the civic body had assured residents that it would work to curb such incidents. However, it has failed to take measures to prevent fires.

On March 11, residents had protested against the civic body by staging a rasta roko at Lal Chowky in Kalyan (West), which led to traffic disruption for an hour. Former civic body chief P Velarasu had initiated the watering of the dump yard regularly for the summer, as a short-term measure to prevent fires.

KDMC’s new civic commissioner Govind Bodke said ,”Residents met me demanding immediate closure of the dump yard . They also explained the health problems they face. I have assured to take immediate short terms measures as well as long term measures once I visit the dump yard on Wednesday”.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 16:32 IST