Uttan villagers raise a stink over MBMC’s garbage tax

Bhayandar: Compelled to face the unbearable stench emanating from the waste processing plant in their region for the past decade or more, residents of coastal villages in and around Uttan have rolled up their sleeves against the imposition of the solid waste management user charges by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).

In a sharp contrast to government guidelines, the civic administration had started levying abnormally high user charges from early this year. This invited public ire and protests by the Congress-led opposition and local social organisations, prompting the civic administration to trim the Re 1 per square feet charges to Rs 50 per month as solid waste management user charges from August 2019.

Annoyed over the unwillingness of MBMC in taking steps to end the menace, the villagers apart from launching agitations had also filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), seeking an immediate shift of the waste plant in Dhaavgi.

Moreover, more than 10 lakh metric tonnes of unprocessed waste has accumulated over the past six years at the uphill of the dumping yard, which according to locals was the reason for the unbearable stench and making an adverse impact on the environment due to its faulty geographical location.

“The tax has saddled the poor villagers with an additional burden and bearing the brunt of health hazards without any facility or solution to a freedom from the menace. MBMC should immediately roll back the unjustified levy,” said Prof Sandip Burken.

People living in the rural parts that include Rai, Murdha, Morva, Pali, Chowk and Uttan villages that have been excluded from the underground sewage system, have also been dragged into the ambit of the sewage facility tax. Apart from 8-10 tonnes of industrial and bio medical waste, the twin-city generates around 500 metric tonnes of garbage everyday.

By Suresh Golani

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