Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday pulled up the Maharashtra government over its failure to take over the possession of a land it owns, in Mulund, for construction of a dumping ground. The HC has asked the state to co-ordinate with the union government and take the possession of the land as soon as possible.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Pradeep Deshmukh heard a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) highlighting the woes of Mumbaikars due to the pollution caused by dumping of waste. The petitions specifically highlight the problems faced by citizens residing near Deonar dumping ground and sought a direction to it.

During the course of hearing, the government informed the judges of its proposal to take over the identified plot soon.

Irked over the ‘casual’ approach adopted by government, Justice Oka said, “We are surprised and shocked over the approach of the government in dealing with such a grave issue. It seems the government is ignoring this sensitive issue. We believe the government must take into consideration the health problems faced by the citizens.”

Accordingly, the judges have directed the government to convene a meeting with the authorities in the Union government and inform the court of the minutes of the meeting. The judges have clarified they would be monitoring this issue till the government does not hand over the possession to the civic body for construction of a new dumping ground. The matter would be heard after two weeks.