A visit to Deonar dump yard leaves Rahul Gandhi unhappy and blaming the govt for the problems there
Mumbai : It took Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi a ten-minute-long tour, about 20 meters into the 132-hectare Deonar dumping ground, to conclude that the government’s inaction is responsible for the dump yard’s problems.
During his brief visit to Deonar dumping ground on Tuesday afternoon, Rahul slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lack of ‘vision and initiative’ in ensuring cleanliness in the city. He criticised the BJP’s Swachh Bharat initiative and demanded that either the Chief Minister or the Prime Minister should do something regarding the problem of waste management and subsequent fires at Deonar.
The stand taken by the opposition while dealing with the Deonar fires has proved to be a political one yet again. On these lines, Rahul on Tuesday blamed Deonar’s situation on BJP government’s inability to deal with the situation. He said, “It is a sad situation. I met one (local) person here and he was crying. This dumping ground has raised several health problems. The government only talks of Swachh Bharat but does not act for Swachh Bharat. It is sad.”
Rahul was accompanied by AICC General Secretary of Maharashtra, Mohan Prakash and Sanjay Nirupam, along with leader of the opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Pravin Chedda. Nirupam said, “The Shiv Sena-BJP government ruling Mumbai has a nexus with mafia in the area. They are protecting their interests.”
The aspect of Rahul’s visit that stood out the most is that amid senior political leaders and bureaucrats, he was one of the few people who entered the dumping ground without wearing a mask to cover his face. He inspected the premises a mere 20 meters inside the entrance and subsequently demanded that the dumping ground should be closed down. He also demanded that the government should come up with a strategy to solve the problem.
Meanwhile, his visit left the residents of slums on the dump yard’s periphery and rag pickers of the area disgruntled. Several residents protested during his visit, holding up placards that read, “We want jobs and home”, and “We want our jobs back”. Members of Kachra Wachak Seva Sangh, supporting rag pickers said, “He did not even stop to hear our problems. If the dumping ground is shut down, where will we go?” A member said, “If he really wanted a solution to the problem, he should have spoken to us also.”