Deonar not 'prohibited area' yet

BMC yet to secure clearance from the state to keep dumpsite out of bounds

Two months after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared the Deonar dumping ground a ‘prohibited zone’, it is yet to secure a notification from the state government, approving the same.

In a recent letter, the state had asked the BMC to fulfill certain criteria, mandatory to declare the 132 hectare-landfill area, a prohibited zone. The civic body will be responding to state’s letter soon, and is expecting to receive a nod within the next month.

A massive fire broke out at the Deonar dumping ground twice this year. The first one in January raged on for days, and the toxic smog from the fire, had led to massive health-related issues for people living in the vicinity. Even as Mumbaikars were reeling from the after-effects of the fire, another one broke out in March. Following the two incidents, the Bombay high court constituted a committee to look into the matter. Later, a team from the Union ministry of environment and forests also visited the site. Both committees were expected to look for long-term solutions for Mumbai's solid waste management crisis.

Meanwhile, during a press conference in March, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta had said that the Deonar landfill had been declared a prohibited area. However, as per the procedure, only the state government can declare any premises out of bounds. The state then sent the BMC a list of 16 criteria that needed to be complied with before they declared the site a prohibited zone. These included having a compound wall, electric poles, water supply, boundaries etc.

The BMC has now sent its reply on the measures undertaken to the Director General of Police, who will seek the opinion of the commissioner of police. “Once we get their remarks, we will send the letter to the state government. We are expecting the process to be completed in a month,” said an official from the solid waste management department.

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