Only segregated waste will be allotted land to set up treatment plan, CM Devendra Fadnavis said in the Assembly
The state government decided in the Legislative Assembly yesterday that it would not provide any space to dump unsegregated waste throughout the state and only allot land to treat waste that’s segregated.
The issue was discussed when several legislators drew the House’s attention to the fire at Deonar dumping ground. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Lower House that the dumping grounds across the state were prone to catching fire due to untreated waste.
He announced that henceforth land will not be allotted for dumping untreated waste and segregation and treatment of waste will be made compulsory.
“On site segregation of (dry and wet) waste (at residential complexes and civic ward sites) will be made compulsory. In some cities like Mumbai the government has issued such directives,” the CM said. He added that modern technology could be used to treat waste. “A Japanese firm treats waste scientifically at a plant it runs in New Delhi. In some countries treated waste is stored at yards and people living nearby do not face any health issues (like respiratory problems),” he said.
When some legislators said that after Deonar fire, the Bombay High Court banned any new construction in the city. Fadnavis replied that the government had not received any details of this HC order till yesterday.
Also, Fadnavis agreed in principle with BJP legislator Ashish Shelar’s suggestion that those who treat waste in their building premises should get a property tax rebate in Mumbai, but left the issue to be decided by the municipal government. “The BMC should decide on tax rebate. We have asked BMC to consider such a move,” he said.
15% budget spent
In a written reply to the assembly, Fadnavis said in the past four years the BMC spent only Rs 194.5 crore out of the total budgetary allotment of Rs 1,284 crore. He said the BMC was issued directives to treat waste at Deonar and Mulund in 2009, but the contracts did not fall through and deals were terminated in January 2016.
The reply further said the city generates 9,500 metric tonnes of waste daily (unofficial quantity is 10,500 tonnes). Deonar and Mulund plots are used for dumping waste and Kanjurmarg has a facility where 3,000 metric tonnes is treated using bio reactor technology. However, the CM said considering the low operational capacity of Kanjurmarg facility, the Deonar and Mulund dumping yards will not be shut down anytime soon. “The HC has allowed BMC to run the Deonar and Mulund yards till June 30, 2017,” the reply said.
Waste to energy
Fadnavis announced that the state would ask the BMC to float tenders for a plant to generate energy from the waste at Deonar dumping ground in the next 3-6 months.
He replied to Shelar’s query about the vacant post of chief engineer (solid waste management) and said it will be filled in a month and an officer of assistant commissioner rank would be asked to supervise the work related to dumping yards in the city.
Fadnavis said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) would be asked to investigate the Deonar fire after a police submit their probe report.
A major fire at Deonar dumping yard was reported on January 28, 2016 and it spread like a wild fire by January 30. The fire department had reported that three children were spotted running after igniting the fire. The local police have registered an FIR against the unidentified children and operating agency Tatva Global Environment Ltd.