Deonar residents claim civic body burning excess waste

BMC denies allegation, says it could be ragpickers

BMC has denied an allegation by residents that it is clandestinely burning excess garbage from Kanjurmarg landfill site at the Deonar dump in violation of rules. It said ragpickers were burning small quantities of waste.

The residents claimed the alleged burning and the resultant smoke were a health hazard.

BMC has been left with no option but to shift excess Kanjurmarg waste to Deonar after a Bombay High Court (HC) order.

HC banned dumping at Kanjurmarg last week after NGO Vanashakti filed a PIL alleging the activity was a threat to the surrounding eco-system and was being carried out in violation of a CRZ notification of 2011 and Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000.

BMC has denied the allegations and will move the court for a restraining order.

After the temporary HC ban, BMC is shifting additional 1,500 metric tonnes of garbage to Deonar.

Before the order, the Kanjurmarg dump, which had been partially opened, used to receive about 1,500 metric tonnes and Deonar the remaining 5,500 metric tonnes of garbage.

The city generates around 6,500 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 2,000-2,500 metric tonnes of construction waste (debris and silt).

Deonar residents complained indiscriminate burning of garbage was emanating toxic fumes.

Kala Suresh, advanced locality management (ALM) activist from Premjyot Complex near the Deonar dumping ground, said, "For the past few nights we feel suffocated by the smoke. Burning of garbage continues till early morning. This is posing a severe health hazard to residents, especially women and senior citizens."

Assistant municipal commissioner A J Dave said, "BMC is not burning waste at Deonar. It must be ragpickers. Deonar enough space to accommodate excess waste from Kanjurmarg."

With the burden on Deonar increasing, the civic administration had sought Airports Authority of India permission to increase height of the dumping ground from 35 to 45 metres. The yard is in line of flights taking off from domestic and international airports.

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