Mumbai: 'Prohibited' Deonar dump yard easily accessible to humans, animals

Even Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the dump yard was not reason enough for the BMC to stop people or animals from entering the prohibited area; minor fires also unattended

Not only was Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi allowed inside the prohibited dumping ground yesterday, but other people and animals were also seen entering the dump yard illegally, despite private security guards being posted at the location to ensure Gandhi’s security.

A man takes his buffaloes into the dumping ground without any restriction. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
A man takes his buffaloes into the dumping ground without any restriction. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently declared the ground a prohibited area and claimed they had deployed security there, mid-day saw a man and his buffaloes easily enter the banned area without any trouble. They were spotted standing on a heap of garbage with no one around to shoo them away. BMC had made tall claims that it would use security guards and CCTVs to prevent illegal entry and to catch those who still manage to do so, but it seemed to be nothing but a lie.

The dump yard wall is broken in many places, giving people and animals easy access
The dump yard wall is broken in many places, giving people and animals easy access

Another outbreak
Just an hour before Gandhi’s visit, a minor fire had broken out in the dumping ground 300-400 metres away from the main entrance. It was soon doused by fire engines and water tankers deployed near the gate.

But mid-day’s visit after the VVIP’s exit also revealed that there were minor fires at the dumping ground behind the BEST bus depot at Shivaji Nagar that had been left unattended. Mozam Akram, a local resident, alleged that minor fires that are ignored become huge later. “I don’t want to blame the civic body because the dumping ground is huge and it’s difficult to reach every spot, but I believe there should be more water tankers and fire engines that can immediately douse the fire before it spreads. There are people who are still illegally entering the dumping ground and barn owners are taking their animals inside. Action should be taken against them,” said Mozam.

The dump yard wall was also broken at many places, giving easy access inside. Children were seen playing adjacent to the boundary. With the rising temperature, there is also a greater risk of more fires breaking out.

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