Four days after the first fire broke out in the Deonar dumping ground, the cooling operation continued on Sunday and is likely to go on for two more days. Though the civic officials from the solid waste management department said that the fire is under control, they are likely to face flak from those higher up in connection with the incident.
Fire officials said that the cooling operation will go on for the next 2-3 days. “It will take at least two days for the cooling operation,” said P Rahangdale, chief fire officer.
Prakash Patil, deputy municipal commissioner, in charge of solid waste management, said that it will take two years now to stop the dumping at the Deonar dumping ground. “We will have to appoint a consultant and then it will take at least two years for the scientific processing,” he said.
He added that the BMC has got the 38 hectare land at Taloja from the state government for the scientific processing.
Rais Shaikh, the corporator from Govandi and Samajwadi Party leader in the BMC, has demanded action against the official handling the operations of the Deonar dumping ground.
“There were no CCTV cameras at the dumping ground. The civic chief is also aware of it. The city is facing problems due to the incompetence of few officers,” said Shaikh, adding that it should also be investigated why no alternate arrangement were made to take over the dumping ground from the contractor.
Kirit Somaiyya, BJP leader and MP, has also filed a complaint with the police alleging the nexus of the officials and contractors and demanded investigation into it.
A senior civic official said that the officials handling the Deonar dumping ground are likely to face the heat over the fire. Prima facie there seems to be negligence on the part of the officials. An action will be taken after the assessing all the details, said the official.
Rajkumar Sharma, an activist from Chembur said that the smoke has been reduced and the air quality has been improved a lot compared to Saturday. Civic officials said that the municipal schools in the area, that were shut due to the fire, will reopen on Monday. Around 78 municipal schools were shut on Friday and Saturday due to smoke and breathing problems.