July 12, 2021 12:10:25 am
SUFFERING FROM delays since the past two-and-a-half years, the completion of closure of the Mulund dumping ground is going to miss the deadline again. Officials from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Projects department said that the Rs 731 crore project has been facing hurdles due to Covid-19 induced lockdown and now due to the monsoon.
The project, which is supposed to be completed by 2024, has seen only 10% of work get done. The contractor executing the project has sought a six months extension for completion.
“Last year, not much work has been done. Earlier, due to the Covid-induced lockdown, the contractor faced a shortage of labourers and now with the onset of monsoon the work of reclaiming the land will not take place,” a senior official from the SWM Projects department said. “The contractor has sought an extension for six months to finish the work,” he added.
Chief Engineer, SWM (Projects), Kishor Bhambure confirmed the development but refused to share any further detail.
During monsoon, the area in the dumping ground becomes slushy making movement of machinery and other resources difficult, said BMC officials.
In June 2018, the BMC had awarded a contract of Rs 731 crore for six years to reclaim land at Mulund dumping ground by biomining of waste in a phase-wise manner. According to the data available with the civic body, about 70 lakh metric tonnes of garbage will be cleared from the dumping ground, which is spread over 24 hectares. The dumping ground has been in use since 1967.
About 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage was dumped in the Mulund dumping ground every day till 2018. After its closure, all the garbage has been diverted to the Deonar and Kanjurmarg dumping ground.
BMC’s attempt of appointing a contractor in 2015, 2016 and 2017 failed as it did not receive any response.
The Mulund dumping ground has featured prominently in the political fights between Shiv Sena and BJP. During the 2017 BMC polls, BJP had targeted Sena on its failure to shut the dumping ground, which had already reached its saturation point.
Following this, the then Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had promised to shut the site soon. After Deonar, Mulund is the second-largest dumping site in the city. Mumbai generates around 6,000 metric tonnes of garbage every day.
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