The BMC has claimed that the recent fire at the Deonar dumping ground was an act of sabotage, but police officials have denied any sabotage angle in the incident. However, a case was registered against unknown persons. Police officials have said that the recent fire was ‘genuine’ and might have been caused due to methane gas.
“We have registered a case after getting an additional complaint from the BMC earlier this week. We have conducted an inquiry into the incident and have come to the conclusion that there is no sabotage angle in it. The fire seems to have been caused due to methane gas,” B T Jadhav, senior inspector of Shivaji Nagar police station told The Sunday Express.
On Saturday last week, a fire broke out in the Deonar dumping ground and it raged on through Sunday. The fire was brought under control by Monday morning, but the cooling operations at the site are still on.
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However, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has written to the state government, seeking to declare Deonar dumping ground as a ‘prohibited area’. Mehta has also asked the state government to impose section 144 of CrPC at the Deonar dumping ground to restrict the entry of all persons, except on-duty officers and staff.
“As of now, we have restricted entry at the dumping ground. We have requested the state government to impose section 144 of CrPC before declaring it as a ‘prohibited zone’,” said Mehta.
He added that the process of digging two to three borewells in the area would start on Monday. The civic body had received flak for using potable water for dousing the fire, at a time when the state is facing a severe water crisis.
Cong, BJP demand closure of dumpyards, scientific disposal
Sanjay Nirupam, Congress Mumbai unit president, held a rasta roko at Deonar on Saturday morning and demanded a stop to the dumping of garbage at the Deonar site. “The state government has allocated the land at Taloja to the BMC for dumping garbage. So, the civic body should stop dumping garbage at Deonar, since it has been causing various health issues to the residents of Govandi, Mankhurd and Chembur,” said Nirupam, adding that the work at Taloja should be taken up on a priority basis.
BJP, too, protested at the Mulund and Kanjurmarg dumping grounds on Saturday. The party demanded the closure of the Mulund dumping ground and scientific disposal at all other sites in the city. BJP will protest at Deonar and Vikhroli on Sunday. The BJP’s move to protest on the issue is being seen as an attempt to corner the Shiv Sena. BJP is the junior partner in the BMC which is ruled by the Shiv Sena.
“The state government has decentralised garbage disposal at the ward level. However, the BMC is not executing the work. According to experts, at least 7,000 metric tonnes of garbage is generated daily in Mumbai, but the civic body has paid contractors for 10,000 metric tonnes. There is a huge scam going on,” said BJP MP Kirit Somaiya.