The ban came after a major fire in the Deonar dumping ground last year. File pic
The ban came after a major fire in the Deonar dumping ground last year. File pic

The ban on any new construction in Mumbai is likely to stay for at least another month. The BMC's failure to shut down the Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds has stalled permissions for new projects for over a year. Now, the BMC will seek an extension for a month from the Bombay High Court to close the two dump yards.

June deadline
Last February, the HC issued a stay order on new constructions in city, excluding redevelopment, slum rehabilitation, and the construction of hospitals and colleges. The decision came after a fire in the Deonar dumping ground led to severe pollution and public outrage. Deonar and Mulund are home to two of the city's major dumping grounds that had long reached their full capacity.

Also read: Mulund, Deonar, Kanjurmarg dumping grounds at bursting points

The court set June as the deadline for the BMC to comply with the new norms of solid waste management, but the civic body failed to meet the requirements.

Few firms ready
Very few firms are ready to take up the project, considering the vast expertise and the scale of work involved, said a civic official. The city generates about 9,000 metric tonnes of garbage daily, of which 1,000 metric tonnes are construction and demolition debris. Currently, only Kanjurmarg dumping ground is equipped for scientific processing of waste.

Also read: Maharashtra Security Force will guard Deonar dumping ground

A senior official from the Solid Waste Management department said, "We had invited tenders nine months ago for the closure of the garbage dumps and to set up a waste processing unit at Mulund. We have extended the deadline 12 times before finalised three companies. But recently, we cancelled their bids as they failed to fit the criteria."

The official added, "Tenders have also been invited for Deonar and the contractor will be finalised on August 5. Considering the delay in appointing the contractor, we will seek an extension from the court." Despite repeated attempts to contact the Siraj Ansari, chief engineer of the Solid Waste Management department, he was not available for comment.