Coming down heavily on the BMC for the state of affairs at the Deonar dumping ground, the two-member panel of scientists constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has recommended that dumping of organic waste be stopped immediately at Deonar.
The panel, which submitted its report to the Centre after surveying the site, said the garbage heaps are between 20 and 30 metres high and further dumping must be stopped till the existing garbage is segregated using a three-bin approach into organic, dry and domestic hazardous waste, such as electronic waste.
The panel comprising senior scientists E Thirunavukkarasu from the MoEF and Prasoon Gargava from the Central Pollution Control Board, Vadodara said, “Instead of restricting the entry of waste pickers to the site, integration of waste pickers in collection and segregation system of waste should be considered to recover recyclable waste and reduce the quantity of waste to the dump site. This is in line with the provisions of the new solid waste management rules.”
The BMC had proposed to cut off access to the dumping ground for rag pickers, whom it accuses of deliberately setting the garbage on fire to consolidate valuable metals like copper and steel.
It has also recommended arrangements for treating and using methane generated by the garbage after closing down the facility in a scientific manner. The garbage heaps must be divided into grids, covered with soil and compacted to prevent rainwater from reaching the waste and creating landfill leachate that will pollute the adjacent creek.
A senior BMC official said the panel has also asked the civic body to comply with the directives issued on March 22 by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). These include submission of a short-term action plan for solid waste by the BMC till a processing plant is set up, a scientific closure plan for existing dumping grounds, decentralised processing units for organic waste from eateries, fish and vegetable markets.
The MPCB has also asked for an action plan for collecting completely segregated waste at source, and the use of an eco-friendly deodorising agent to control the stink from the site.
Vijay Ballamwar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Solid Waste Department said they are yet to receive the directive to shut down the Deonar site or a copy of the panel report. “We are already implementing several things mentioned in the report like covering the creek side, segregating garbage, dividing the garbage heaps into grids. For example, 24 dry waste centres have already been set up and are being manned by NGOs including the Stree Mukti Sanghatana. We already started working on stabilising garbage slopes. The Bombay High Court has accepted our plea for time till June 2017 while hearing a PIL on his issue,” Mr Ballamwar said.
He added that BMC has appointed EcoRicoh, an agency that collects e-waste. For this, Mr Ballamwar said, e-waste collection centres have been set up in each ward. “Where this is not available, e-waste can be handed over to the dry waste collection vehicles, which will hand it over to Eco-Ricoh,” he said.
[Source:- The Hindu ]