Deonar will continue to receive city’s waste after Dec. 31 closure deadline


At least 800 metric tonne of waste will be dumped at landfill despite HC vacating stay on green clearance to Kanjurmarg unit

The Bombay High Court order vacating the stay on the environmental clearance (EC) given to the Kanjurmarg waste processing site will ensure about 800-1,000 metric tonne of waste being sent to the Deonar dump yard will instead be processed here. Despite that, about 800 metric tonne of waste will still be dumped at Deonar and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is nowhere near shutting it before December 31.

Mumbai generates 7,000-7,500 metric tonne of solid waste every day, apart from construction debris. Since the closure of the Mulund dumping ground, the city has only two functional dumping sites: Deonar and Kanjurmarg. Before the order, only about 4,500 metric tonne of solid waste was being taken to the Kanjurmarg scientific waste processing facility while the rest had to be sent to Deonar. This was detrimental to the eventual closure of the Deonar dumping ground. The Kanjurmarg facility’s total capacity is around 6,000 metric tonne and the BMC plans to add a waste-to-energy plant at Deonar with a total capacity of 3,000 metric tonne, the two eventually bearing the burden of the daily waste.

The State had given the BMC around 140 hectares of land at Kanjurmarg for the waste processing unit. However, only 65 hectares was operational while about 52 hectares required an EC as it fell under the Coastal Regulation Zone III. After the BMC received the EC last year, it was challenged by NGO Vanashakti as it would affect mangroves and inter-tidal areas around the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary, among other things. The HC granted a stay in September, which was vacated on Thursday in an interim order.

This now means 8,00-1,000 metric tonne of waste will now be sent again to Kanjurmarg while approximately 800 metric tonne will continue to go to Deonar.

“We are satisfied the stay has been lifted. Our machinery is on site and we can directly start processing the additional waste,” said an official from the solid waste management (SWM) department.

Nevertheless, the BMC seems to be nowhere close to meeting the HC deadline of December 31 to shut the landfill. Its attempt to construct waste-to-energy plants at Deonar have not received any response from bidders.

“We want to construct at least one or two material recovery facilities that will take care of solid waste and turn wet waste into compost at refuge transfer stations. These can work for small quantities. But space is the biggest constraint in Mumbai. We will request the HC for more time. Once the Kanjurmarg facility starts working at full capacity, we will carry out another drive to encourage segregation and composting at source,” said an SWM official.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:12:52 AM |

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