Mumbai: Deonar dumping yard is affecting health of residents, say doctors

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:25 AM IST
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Mumbai: On the northern edge of the metropolis of Mumbai, lies another face of the city. Buildings give way to hutments, roads get narrower, and government services get scarcer as we reach the ‘M East’ municipal ward, called ‘M/E’ for short. Known best for housing the 132-hectare Deonar dumping ground that grows by 4,500 tonnes of garbage every day, this ward includes Chembur East, Govandi, Mankhurd and Shivaji Nagar, covering 256-plus slums and 13 resettlement colonies.

Hundreds of kilograms of garbage’s are thrown at Deonar dumping ground but residents across the area have to pay the price for it. Due to inhaling of the toxic gases releasing from the ground, residents develop respiratory problems. Many of them get TB infection. In fact, the drinking water is contaminated that leaves long lasting health hazard to the residents.

Also Read: Now, foreign solutions for Deonar dump yard

The officials said that the dispensary which is run by civic department in Bainganwadi, has seen more patients with complains of fever, body pain, skin infections since the rains last week. “Most patients here have skin infections owing to the poor living conditions,” said Dr Suresh Uchale, medical officer of the dispensary.

He further said they also get cases of viral fever which are not usual. “The people are affected various diseases as all the garbage is thrown here due to which chances of infection getting spread is much higher than any other area in Mumbai,” added doctor.

A senior doctor said as the garbage is dumped due to which the air quality of this area is bad which are affecting people suffering respiratory infection. “The residents staying near the dumping ground are facing lots problem related to health. If they do not come time for getting treated it start increasing,” added doctor.

The health official said during monsoon they keep an eye out for signs of leptospirosis as all the waters get accumulated near the residents due to which people get affected. Leptospirosis is spread by the bacterium Leptospira that causes fever, headache, bleeding, chills and vomiting and, if not treated in time, can lead to liver and kidney failure and even death.

Also Read: Long term solution sought on dumping ground issue in Mumbai

The bacterium is often found in the urine of infected animals like rats, dogs, pigs, cattle, all of which are found in abundance in the Deonar dumping grounds. As rain water washes through the dumping grounds, seeps into Govandi’s slums and accumulates in it is their streets, people wading through the water are exposed to the infected urine.

Those with cuts or bruises on their legs and feet are especially at risk of contracting infection. When Mumbai flooded in July 2005, many parts of the city and adjoining districts witnessed similar waterlogging and there was a surge in the number of cases and deaths owing to leptospirosis.

Several children in the area are already malnourished who are more likely to fall ill because of their low immunity. Health activists said the disruption caused by the rains has affected malnutrition control programmes being run in the slums. “Many children have been suffering from diarrhoea after the rains,” said Sunita Choure, programme manager at Apnalaya.

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