After facing flak over its garbage disposal process, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said it will remove the garbage from the Mulund dumping ground and will ‘claim the land’ and make it available to citizens as an open space.
Civic officials said the tendering process for it is already on its way and some changes are being made to complete the work at the earliest. “At Mulund, we are going to claim the land. Garbage won’t be dumped there. All waste will removed from the site and the claimed land will be made available to citizens for walking,” said Vijay Balamwar, deputy municipal commissioner of solid waste management.
Balamwar was speaking at the fully packed ‘open house on garbage crisis’ discussion in Chembur East, organised by Mumbai unit of Congress and Leader of Opposition in the BMC Pravin Chheda.
“Companies from Israel and South Korea have shown interest in the proposal. While we want the work to be completed in five years, some issues raised by these companies are being discussed at present. We are also looking at a similar project implemented in a European country,” Balamwar said, adding there is around 62 lakh metric tonne garbage dumped at the Mulund ground.
Clarifying on the new dumping site at Taloja, Balamwar said it is actually in Mulund and not Taloja. “It’s on Taloja road. But, there will be no dumping. We intend to process construction debris there to make tiles,” he said, stressing on the need to decentralise garbage processing plants.
Rishi Agarwal, an environmentalist, said the civic body had in 2002 published a notice stating no garbage would be accepted without segregation. “It had also stated that it will fine citizens for not segregating garbage. Had that notice been followed, there would be no need for the Taloja dumping ground,” said Agarwal.
Charan Singh Sapra, former Congress legislator, demanded that criminal proceedings be initiated against all municipal commissioners from 2002, for not following the notice.
Jyoti Mhapsekar, president of Stree Mukti Sanghtana, criticised the BMC’s decision to suspend licences of ragpickers at Deonar dumping ground. “The BMC destroyed our livelihood, but has not taken any action againsgarbage mafias,” said Mhapsekar.
Sanjay Nirupam, president of Mumbai Congress unit, said, “We will try to create more awareness about the issue. If we come to power, we will make Mumbai garbage-free. The Shiv Sena-BJP ruled the BMC for 20 years, and put citizens’ lives at risk.”