AS THE fire in the Deonar dumping ground smouldered for the third successive day, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Ajoy Mehta announced additional measures for immediate redressal of the issue.
The BMC will now increase the number of fire tenders posted permanently on the ground from two to 10. It will also dig in four-five additional borewells for easier access to water. Additional night-vision cameras will also be made available.
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Fire had broken out in Mulund and Deonar dumping yards on March 19. The one in Mulund was brought under control the next day. The one in Deonar grew on Sunday and flared up again the next day.
According to Mehta, a total of 14 fire engines, seven bulldozers and eight water tankers were deployed to manage the fire.
In his statement, Mehta announced that apart from the 12 CCTV cameras, 40 night-vision cameras will be installed on 10 poles around the dumping ground.
“Since foulplay is suspected, we have lodged an FIR at Shivaji Nagar police station. Though the CCTV cameras have proved to be a deterrent, we will add more night-vision cameras to increase surveillance of the dumping ground,” said Mehta.
He added that the BMC will be declaring the Deonar dumping ground a prohibited zone and will henceforth not allow any free access to it. CCTV cameras will be installed at the Mulund dumping ground as well.
The emission of combustible methane from garbage makes the dumping ground susceptible to fire. The BMC is planning to create gas wells to trap this gas.
Meanwhile, corporators stated that the BMC was not taking any real measure but simply covering up their negligence towards the dumping ground fires.
“The BMC is not taking the issue seriously. They have declared that they will declare the dumping ground as prohibited when there is a board with the words ‘prohibited area’ in front of the gate since public access is not allowed. What is new about that,” asked Congress corporator Pravin Cheda.
Cheda also questioned the lack of action on the police’s part. “The first FIR was filed at the time when the fire first broke out. Even though Shivaji Nagar police say that they have interrogated 100 people, they have not named or arrested anyone yet,” he said.
Shiv Sena Corproator Avkash Jadhav has also called for a white paper on the dumping ground.