BMC has said it would be difficult to shut down Mulund dumping ground for at least another six months. File pic
BMC has said it would be difficult to shut down Mulund dumping ground for at least another six months. File pic

Is this the city of missed deadlines? It's not just infrastructure or other projects that miss the mark, the closure of Mulund dumping ground too is likely to miss its October deadline. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC's) recent decision of hiring Poclain machines for one year for separating the waste at the dumping ground has raised the doubt.

Not just yet
Last week, the civic administration had tabled a proposal of hiring Poclain machines for separating the garbage there. The BMC is going to spend Rs 77.75 lakh on the machines for 400 days.

According to civic officials, the closure of Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds will take more time as there is no alternative available. Two new sites to be turned into dumping grounds, at Airoli and Taloja, are still not ready because of land ownership dispute and encroachment.

Also read: Mumbai: BMC to seek extension on Mulund, Deonar dump yards

A senior civic official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department said, "The machines are being hired to move garbage from one place to another. If it lies in one place for long, it can lead to formation of methane gas and start a fire. With no alternative available for dumping waste, we can't shut down Mulund or Deonar grounds. In Mulund, we get over 2,000 metric tons garbage daily. Hence, it would be difficult to shut it down at least for another six months."

Another hurdle is no response from contractors to reclaim the land inside the ground. The BMC had invited tenders for the closure and for setting up a waste-processing unit in Mulund. But it was cancelled due to technical reasons. Despite repeated attempts, Chief Engineer of SWM Siraj Ansari was not available for comment.

Order from up high
Following the poor management of waste, last February, the Bombay High Court had issued a stay order on new constructions in the city, excluding redevelopment, slum rehabilitation, and the construction of hospitals and colleges.

The order had come after a fire in Deonar dumping ground, which had led to severe pollution and public outrage.

Deonar and Mulund are home to two of the city's major dumping grounds, both of which have long reached their capacity.

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

The court had earlier set June as the deadline for the BMC to comply with the new norms of solid waste management, but the civic body had failed to meet the requirements. Civic officials had then sought an extension from court till September. Now, they are likely to approach the court for another extension.

The city generates about 9,000 metric tons of garbage daily, of which 1,000 metric tons is construction and demolition debris. Currently, only Kanjurmarg dumping ground is equipped for scientific processing of waste.