Portion of Diva dump yard in Thane to be closed in six months | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Portion of Diva dump yard in Thane to be closed in six months

The corporation has appointed consultants to begin scientific closure of the dump yard.

mumbai Updated: Mar 18, 2018 00:50 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Diva dumping ground caught fire last week.
Diva dumping ground caught fire last week.(PRAFUL GANGURDE)

To prevent fires at the dumping ground in Diva, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has decided to shut one part of the ground.

Around five hectares of area beside the main Diva dumping ground is lying unused for the past three years. The corporation has appointed consultants to begin scientific closure of the dump yard.

“There used to be instances of smoke billowing from the ground, regularly increasing air pollution. The smoke was caused due to the incomplete burning of methane gas released from the waste. Methane is 21% more potent than carbon dioxide, when it burns incompletely. So, we have decided to scientifically close this portion of the dumping ground,” a TMC official said.

Till 2015, TMC dumped waste on this five hectare land. The officer said in the last three years TMC was awaiting the decomposition of wet waste.

“All the wet waste has now decomposed and we can go ahead with the closure. We have appointed the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) agency, which was recommended by the ministry of science and technology of the Centre. The agency will give us a complete analysis and report in six months after which, we will begin closure.”

The agency will submit a report on physical analysis of the ground, how much methane is released every day, soil bearing capacity of the ground, the topographical survey, hydrogeological survey (which shows the flow of ground water), sampling of surface water and contour mapping.

“The agency will also check the air pollution level, level of particulate pollutants and analyse the creek and well water. We will install a flare system on this ground, which will combust the methane gas completely and convert it into non-polluting carbon dioxide. The closure of the dumping ground will be carried out in three phases based on the recommendations of the agency and we plan to close it in one year,” the officer said.

No alternative treatment plant

Though TMC has proposed to scientifically close a part of the Diva dumping ground, the process of closure of the prime area has not yet begun. TMC cannot close the ground unless an alternative treatment plant is identified.

The dumping ground caught fire last week, which was later brought under control. However, toxic fumes still continue to emit from the ground leading to bad air quality, which makes it difficult for residents. Currently, the corporation present is not in a position to close this ground unless an alternate treatment plant or dumping site is identified. The TMC treats only 10 percent of the total 800 metric tonnes of waste the city generates daily.

Court’s ruling this week:

The High Court has given the Thane Municipal Corporation time till December 2019 to close the dumping on Diva mangroves and implement all solid waste management rules.

The court has stated in case of failure to implement the norms, no new construction will be permitted after 2019.

It has also asked the corporation to file quarterly compliance report.

About Diva dumping ground

Dumping is being done at two places – Diva and Khardi

In 2015, around 58 chemical drums were set ablaze in the Diva dumping ground leading to chemical pollution in the area

In 2012, residents had written to TMC officials to close the dumping ground, for which they also conducted a signature campaign

The new plot proposed for scientific treatment of waste at Shil Diaghar will last for at least 40 years

The corporation has also planned to install mini processing units at ward level to minimise daily waste generated and treat it at the source itself

HOW WASTE IS DISPOSED OF

Thane city generates 800 metric tonnes of waste, apart from the additional 200 metric tonnes, which is the construction and non-recyclable waste.

The 800 metric tonnes of waste generated daily comprises of 425 metric tonnes wet waste and 375 metric tonnes dry waste.

At present, there are 100 dry waste collection centres in the city. Most of the dry waste, apart from 10 to 15% goes to these collection centres. Out of the 425 metric tonnes, the residential societies at present treat 80 tonnes of waste. Around 60 tonnes of waste is treated by different energy plants operational by TMC, while some part of it is treated in three townships in the city.

This leaves around 285 metric tonnes of waste, which at present, is dumped on a private land in Diva, along with 200 metric tonnes non-recyclable waste.

The TMC dumps around 500 metric tonnes of waste at the Diva dumping every day.