For over 10 days, smoke from the Aadharwadi dumping ground has been affecting Kalyan, but the authorities haven’t been able to stop the fires. Since May 30, fires have been breaking out at the ground and until yesterday, fire officials had managed to control them. But power failure led to a shortage of water, and another major fire that broke out, couldn’t be brought under control even late at night.
Fire brigade personnel try to douse the fire at the Aadharwadi dumping ground. PIC/Sameer Markande
The Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has also let Rs 5 lakh go down the drain, as they had hired a contractor to water the fresh garbage for 50 days in a bid to prevent the fires.
On Thursday the Aadharwadi fire brigade received a call at 1:35 pm about a fire at the ground. It is hardly at a distance of 100 metres from the dumping ground. “The fire was huge, so we sent all vehicles to the spot. The fires take place deep inside the garbage, about 20 feet inside, making dousing them difficult. We still keep watering them,” said Namdev Chaudhari, Fire official, Aadharwadi fire unit.
The KDMC has hired a contractor to water the fresh garbage that is dumped. The contractor was given Rs 5 lakh for 50 days that started on April 15 and ended in the first week of June. “Usually the contractor is assigned the job of watering the fresh garbage that has been dumped. He was assigned the job during the summer vacation period. But even after that he is helping us in the process,” said an official from Solid Waste Management of KDMC. The garbage was being watered to prevent fires.
“There was no power on Thursday due to which the watering was delayed. We use the water from the treatment plant for this,” added the official. The fire brigade officials are using water from a well near their centre due to the water shortage in the city. “Four months before the summer the authorities announced that there will be a shortage of water and you have to save it. Accordingly we cleaned the well and started using the water. On May 30, when there was a big fire we filled around 30 tankers from the well,” said a fire official from Aadharwadi fire brigade.
Kanchan Kulkarni, a social worker
The soaring heat from the past few months has already disturbed citizens and we are waiting for the monsoon. But the smoke is another problem for us
Sunita Gite (45), a resident near the dumping ground
We stay on the ground floor and have suffered a lot. The smoke enters our house leading to breathing problems. We face sleepless nights due to the smoke. The authorities should wake up and take adequate steps to resolve this