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BMC continues illegal dumping


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As reported by Linah Baliga in dnaindia.com on 23 November 2008:

DNA - Mumbai - BMC continues illegal dumping - Daily News & Analysis


BMC continues illegal dumping


RTI petition filed by locals shows garbage dumping at Mulund is not only illegal, but may not get clearance from the PCB anytime soon


If one goes by the Municipal Solid Waste(MSW) Rules of 2000, the present, haphazard dumping of garbage taking place at all dumping grounds across Mumbai is unauthorised.


A Right to Information (RTI) petition filed by local resident Vibhav Agarwal of Hari Om Nagar in Mulund (E), revealed some startling facts about this suburb. First, that the state Pollution Control Board (PCB) has not authorised the dumping of garbage in the Mulund dumping ground (MDG). And second, that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continues with the haphazard dumping of 600-1200 tonnes of garbage every day at Mulund.


A response sought from the PCB to the RTI petition, received on September 29, 2008, stated that an authorisation to the BMC, granting the processing and disposal of MSW at the Mulund dumping ground, was still pending at the PCB headquarters. The RTI reply also points out that the PCB’s regional officer (Mumbai) has recommended not allowing authorisation, due to the BMC’s non-compliance of the MSW Rules, 2000.


Asked about this, additional municipal commissioner RA Rajeev said, “No unscientific dumping can get an authorisation from the PCB. That’s why the BMC has plans to stop haphazard dumping and go for scientific landfills in the near future, for all dumping grounds.” On whether the dumping in Mulund was unauthorised at present (and therefore illegal), Rajeev said: “If we go by that logic, even dumping at Deonar will be unauthorised. Then where will we dump Mumbai’s garbage?”


That doesn’t alter the fact that the BMC is carrying on unauthorised dumping and flouting the MSW Rules 2000, Agarwal said. The lives and health of more than 10,000 families living in Hari Om Nagar are in jeopardy because of the haphazard dumping.


“The BMC is obviously apathetic to the conditions these families are living in, and the serious health hazards they are exposed to. Our area is infested with rodents, stray dogs and flies, and we are forced to keep the windows shut all the time,” Agarwal added.


After the Gorai dumping ground was closed recently, about 500 tonnes of garbage were diverted to Mulund, adding to the 40ft hillock of garbage here. According to Rajeev, the Mulund dumping ground will close once the Kanjurmarg dumping ground receives an environmental clearance from the Ministry of Forests and Environment. A bio-methanation plant will also be set up in Mulund, which will start operating from November 2010, he added. “But does that mean the residents will have to live with the stench and health hazards only because it is taking time to get the MoEF clearance, thanks to the BMC’s lackadaisical attitude?” Agarwal asks.

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