Six years ago, the Bombay High Court had held the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for illegally dumping waste at sites situated in Mulund and Deonar.
BMC was instructed to shut down such dumping sites within a time period of three months. However, the civic body got the deadlines extended 17 times till date and has been dumping waste at the Deonar site.
Last month, a bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Riyaz Chagla gave the latest extension allowing BMC to use the Deonar site beyond the deadline of December 31, 2019.
The HC had already extended the deadline in April 2019 as a final extension however the civic body repeatedly sought another extension stating that it will set up a ‘waste-to-energy’ plant at the site.
“An application seeking extension to enable the civic body to establish all facilities in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 has been filed. It is opposed on the ground that such extension has been sought on 16 occasions. It is claimed that the civic body is not serious in complying with the order of this court,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.
“According to us, there are subsequent developments,” the Judge said informing of another site at Kanjurmarg which is now free to use.
The judges also shared that the government has provided an additional land at neighbouring Thane for permanently dumping waste generated in the city. The bench has asked for an affidavit from the engineer who is overlooking the work of the plant at the Deonar site stating that the affidavit would have to be filed by January 18.
Notably, the tenders inviting bids for the three modules of WTE plants state that a total of 40 months would be required to complete the entire project.
Meanwhile the Deputy Commissioner, Solid Waste Department (SWD), Ashok Khaire said, “If citizens make use of composting units at their homes or societies for wet waste and segregate the dry waste and recycly it, we would not require a single dumping ground in the city.”