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Authorities failed to tackle the Deonar dumping issue, as city fights toxic fumes

Deonar fire

A fire that broke out at Deonar dumping ground is still raging, civic officials said.

Fire broke out at Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai on Sunday night and since then the fire brigade has been struggling to douse it off completely, said officials of the disaster control unit of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

Local residents living near the Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai are once again facing serious problems, enveloping the stretch from Chembur to Navi Mumbai in smoke and seriously affecting the air quality. With fire tenders still trying their best to douse the flame, the entire area has been covered with smoke.

“The fire broke out at around 10 a.m. I think the dumping ground should be removed from this place so that the local residents can be relieved. This dumping should be carried to the place where is there less population. The local residents face a lot of problems because of the smoke that comes out and one’s with the problem of asthma suffer a lot,” Shairaz Hussain, a local living near the Dumping ground told ANI.

Another resident, Mushtaq Khan claimed that there is no permission to dump the garbage there, but no one pays a heed to the problems faced by the local residents.

“Whenever fire breaks out in this dumping ground, it becomes extremely difficult for the local residents and especially the ones with Asthma, as they have to face a lot of suffocation. The kids and the elders face a lot of problem because of the smoke. It is not the first time that a fire has broken out. It happens daily. It is never doused. It is only when it takes the shape of a major fire that people start worrying and complain. This is a continuing process. The area is always on fire during the summer and we fear that the instances may increase as it gets warmer,” he said.

“The government is also not doing anything to improve the situation. They only come and make promises but nothing is done on the ground. Whenever a major fire breaks out, some political leader comes and assures people that the situation would improve. But in reality nothing happens and this dumping is never stopped,” he added.

Government and Private schools around the area remain close for fourth day, Monday due to thick smog caused by the fire.

According to experts, if the fire continuously persists with the same intensity, the city will be covered in toxic fumes of burnt garbage’s in no time. Albeit teams of fire brigade are doing their best to douse the fire, it will be quite some time before they completely put off the fire in the 100 acres dumping ground.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had on February 2 promised to take steps to tackle the problem of recurring fire at the dumping ground.

He had said two fire engines would be stationed at Deonar, but residents of the area, on March 19 when the fire broke out, had to call fire officials to alert them.

Current air quality in Mumbai is at 229 which can be deemed as poor. Researchers at SAFAR said the city’s AQI had gone into the ‘poor’ category after at least 10 days of it being in the ‘moderate’ range. Among the 10 suburbs monitored by SAFAR, two recorded AQI in the ‘very poor’ category, with Bandra-Kurla Complex at 322 and Mazgaon at 303. The other locations, except Borivli, were in the ‘poor’ category.

The BMC had previously sought for a solution for the Deonar dumping ground, even suggesting that wall should be put around it.

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