Mumbai: Residents don't want waste segregation centre next to their colony

The residents of the MHADA colony at Malad allege that part of the area for it was created after clearing mangroves; BMC says these are allegations to move the facility

The residents of a MHADA colony in Malad are up in arms against the BMC over a waste segregation centre to be created in their area. The residents believe that it will lead to mosquitoes and related diseases, and have alleged that the centre is coming up on an open plot and an area created after clearing a patch of mangroves. But the BMC has hit back saying they are making baseless allegations to get the centre out of their area.

One of the residents, Saeed Shaikh, shows the centre
One of the residents, Saeed Shaikh, shows the centre

Malad West has a substantial patch of mangroves near the Marve creek. The MHADA colony in Malwani (gate no. 8) is located close to a patch of mangroves at the end of the road. There is an open plot in this area opposite Nehal Apartment, beyond which mangroves can be seen in the distance. On Thursday, the BMC started its waste segregation centre on this plot, adjacent to the building’s compound wall. A tin shed was put up bearing the name of the centre, with partitions for dry and wet waste. Alarmed by this, residents of the area came out to prevent the BMC from starting the centre. Amid arguments in the presence of police personnel, the work was wrapped up on Thursday. But residents are strongly against such a centre in their area. The BMC will soon start segregation of waste at the centre.

The area near the MHADA Colony is full of mangroves. Pics/Ajinkya Sawant
The area near the MHADA Colony is full of mangroves. Pics/Ajinkya Sawant

Jal Mogal, a resident of Nehal Apartment, at MHADA Colony, said, “This work is being done after cutting mangroves, which is a very serious offence. They have cut them and cleared up the plot to park their dumpers. This is wrong.”

Residents have also alleged that some mangroves beyond the plot were cleared, the area was levelled and then the centre was put up. They were not taken into confidence before the centre was made. As evidence, they claim to have the copy of the property card of the land – owned by MHADA - which classifies the plot as ‘grassland.’ The remarks on it state that the plot has mangroves. They have now written to the tehsildar (Borivli), Mangrove cell, as well as the local BMC office in the matter.

Ashley Rebeiro, another resident of the building, said, “We even approached the police but they did not register an FIR. They said they can’t take a complaint against the BMC.”

Residents have also raised other objections. “The centre will invite mosquitoes, stench and a lot of illnesses. Besides, this is a residential area with narrow roads. It will be dangerous for children with trucks going up and down everyday,” said Tamanna Shaikh, a resident of Classic Apartment. Another resident, Saeed Shaikh, wants the structure removed soon, lest it attract hooligans.

BMC speak
Assistant municipal commissioner of P/North ward Sangeeta Hasnale said, “Residents should prove that BMC or anyone else has cut the mangroves and reclaimed the portion. Not only do we not have the resources for it, but it will also take weeks to do that. If residents are so vigilant, wouldn’t they have stopped anyone? And if they have a copy of the property card of the plot, why haven’t they submitted it to me yet? The truth is that the plot was bare and they are going to any lengths to make sure the centre does not come in their area.” Hasnale said that once people start segregating trash in their homes, the centre will be moved.

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