Mira-Bhayandar: Uttan Dumping Ground Fire Sparks Urgent Calls For Relocation

Mira-Bhayandar: Uttan Dumping Ground Fire Sparks Urgent Calls For Relocation

Frustrated locals narrate a cycle of daily extinguishing efforts, only to witness the smoke reignite due to prevailing strong winds.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 08:41 PM IST
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Uttan Dumping Ground Fire | FPJ

Mumbai, February 27: For the second time in a month, the Uttan dumping ground in Bhayandar West faces a prolonged fire, casting neighbouring villages into a cloud of persistent smoke since last Thursday. Villagers are already burdened by the dump’s toxic stench and struggle to breathe clean air. Time and again, they have demanded relocation of the dumping ground.

The ongoing blaze, unyielding for nearly a week, challenges the fire brigade’s efforts to bring it under control. Frustrated locals narrate a cycle of daily extinguishing efforts, only to witness the smoke reignite due to prevailing strong winds.

Locals Have Been Opposed To Dumping Site:

Since 2009 when the dumping ground started functioning, the local residents have been opposing the site as it is very close to five villages. Dongri, Uttan, Tarodi, Palli and Chowk villages lie in the periphery of 1,000 metre from the dumping ground and are most affected due to such fire incidents.

People in these villages are forced to shut the doors and windows of their homes throughout the day. Even during the monsoon, the water flowing down from the dumping ground, which is located on a hillock, carries toxic chemicals causing skin problems to the people and making the agricultural land infertile.

Locals Narrate Their Ordeals:

Victor Borges, a resident of Dongri, said, “We are constantly living under the smoke and its toxic smell. In the last incident, five coconut trees of my farm were burnt due to burning particles flying from the dump and in the recent fire, we could luckily save a 30-feet-high tree which had caught fire.”

Herald Borges, a resident of Dongri and a former corporator of Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), said, “This is happening since last three to four years. As soon as the days start getting hot in February, fire incidents start occurring. It has made life more difficult for people in these villages. More than 100 hectares of agricultural land has turned infertile due to it.”

Godfrey Pimenta of the Watchdog Foundation has also written a complaint to the MBMC commissioner and demanded relocation of the dumping ground.

“I have written to the authorities about eight incidents in the last one and a half years. The locals are being denied the right to breathe clean air and now their right to livelihood is also affected due to the overflowing garbage as well as leachate.” Free Press Journal contacted Rajkumar Gharat, PRO, MBMC, but the officer was not available for a comment.

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