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Dumping ground should be shifted, protest residents

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Local residents demanded the closure of the Deonar dumping ground and urged the BMC to relocate it outside the city limits.

01 Feb 2016 Mon

Even though the massive fire which erupted at Deonar was brought under control but residents of eastern suburbs like Chembur, Ghatkopar, Shivaji Nagar were complaining about the rising pollution in the area. The BMC had ordered the closure of 70 schools in the area as residents were adversely affected and complaining about suffocation, eye and throat irritation. Local residents of Shivaji Nagar demanded the closure of the dumping ground and urged the civic body to relocate it outside the city limits. The government talks about developing Mumbai into a world class city but if garbage continues to pile up in the city then how can this vision turn into a reality?

Since Mumbai generates approximately 7,500 metric tonnes of garbage around 80 per cent of the garbage is being dumped in Deonar dumping ground. The residents of Shivaji Nagar and Chembur have to bear the brunt of foul smell emanating from the dumping ground. Shivaji Nagar corporator Shaikh Siraj had staged a protest demanding the closure of the dumping ground. The closing down of Chincholi Bunder dumping ground in 2001 and Gorai dumping ground in 2008, had increased the pressure on the two dumping sites in the eastern suburbs.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took stock of the situation and directed the Mumbai Municipal Commisioner Ajoy Mehta to take effective steps for dousing the fire.

“Spoke to municipal commissioner. He assured that no stone will be left unturned to control the smoke at Deonar,” Fadnavis tweeted.

Irfan Shaikh, a Deonar resident said, “The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained as rag-pickers often set the dumped garbage on fire. There is a possibility of fire spreading into large area rapidly as people remained unaware about it. The fire brigade officials played a vital role in dousing in the fire thereby averting a major mishap as there were several hutments and residential buildings in the vicinity”

Abdul Nasir, a Govandi resident said, “Since our house is located near to the dumping ground we remain the worst affected. The government should take steps to relocate the ground or else our health will be affected if fires continue to erupt in the future.”

Corporator Shaikh Siraj said that the capacity of the Deonar dump yard had exhausted years ago. “It will take no time to close it down if MLA Abu Asim Azmi takes the efforts.”

Shamshad Khan, a Chembur resident said, “The manner in which Mumbai’s population is rising it will only generate additional amount of garbage every year. The government will have to find areas for starting new dumping grounds as the Deonar dumping ground lack space to accommodate more garbage.”

Rashid Raza another resident said, “Often politicians arrive in our locality before the onset of election for soliciting votes. Once they get elected they are least bothered about the problems faced by us. Whenever we file a complaint with the corporator he only gives us false assurance about resolving the problem.”

Shivaji Nagar police registered a case under section 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) of the IPC against three unidentified juveniles in connection with the fire at the Deonar dumping ground. Police sources informed that a case was registered on basis of a statement of security guard at the dumping ground.

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