THE BOMBAY High Court has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Pune Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit, stating the measures taken for segregation of waste into dry and wet garbage.
The division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Swapna Joshi was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by two Pune residents who sought action against the PMC for waste accumulation despite a contract awarded to a firm.
The court observed that Mumbai faced a similar issue with frequent fires at the Deonar dumping ground, where most of the city’s waste is dumped. It extended its order mandating measures for waste segregation to both the cities.
“We want to know the steps taken to make it mandatory to segregate dry and wet waste at the level of collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste,” said the bench. The court emphasised on the importance of separating waste at the source, including housing societies, apartments and hotels and restaurants, apart from installing solid waste plants to treat waste.
Pune residents Dr Harshwardhan Modak and Vinod Patil had said in their PIL that the PMC and the firm which was given the contract to effectively dispose solid waste had failed, resulting in ‘hazardous air and water pollution’ in the city.
In Pune, a cooperative collective of wastepickers is one of the models through which waste is segregated in a few spots. In Mumbai, the waste gathered at the dumping grounds, including in Deonar, is not segregated, resulting in the creation of flammable methane gas.
In Mumbai, the solid waste department of the BMC has begun making efforts to segregate waste through Advanced Locality Management, which is limited to a few areas, including Bandra. The department’s implementation of door-to-door collection of garbage in each of its wards is yet to take off in most areas.