The Supreme Court, on February 14, 2020, asked the Bombay High Court to expeditiously decide a plea of an environment group, against expansion of the Kanjurmarg landfill site near Mumbai, on the ground that it was part of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.
The apex court was hearing the appeal of environment group ‘Vanashakti’ against the high court’s order of December 6, 2019, by which the earlier stay granted on the environmental clearance (EC) for the expansion of the landfill site was vacated.
“Having heard counsel for the parties at length, we are of the view that the interest of justice would be best served if the high court dispose of the matter pending before it, as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of three months from today. Order accordingly,” said the bench, comprising of chief justice SA Bobde and justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
“We also consider it appropriate if the high court obtain the report of an expert body like Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), before taking a final decision,” it said while disposing off the appeal of ‘Vanashakti’.
Bombay HC allows dumping of solid waste at Deonar ground, till December 31, 2019
The Bombay HC has granted the Mumbai civic body another extension to close the Deonar dumping ground, by allowing the BMC to continue dumping solid waste till December 31, 2019
April 10, 2019: The Bombay High Court, on April 9, 2019, permitted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to continue dumping solid waste at the Deonar ground in the eastern suburbs, till December 31, 2019, but said it was the ‘last extension’ being granted to the BMC. In April 2013, the high court had directed the civic body to close the dumping grounds at Deonar and Mulund within three months, as the BMC did not have a plant to treat the waste at these places and did not comply with the Solid Waste Management Act. Since then, the BMC has been granted extensions from time to time to close down the two dumping sites, as the corporation said it could not find any alternative site in the city for a dumping ground with a solid waste plant.
Hearing yet another application by the BMC, seeking extension, a division bench of justices AS Oka and MS Sanklecha said it was granting time for the last time. “We make it clear that under no circumstances further time will be granted. Sufficient time has been already given to the corporation, to comply with earlier orders. Mumbai is considered the financial capital and a large quantity of solid waste is generated daily and is being disposed of, without following the rules. At some stage, the BMC must stop dumping of solid waste at the Deonar site,” the court said in its order. The judges also took note of the assurance given by the BMC that it would use only 70 hectares of the Deonar site to dump solid waste and would not dump more than 450 tonnes of solid waste per day, till a new site was found. The court also directed the Maharashtra government to take steps for allotment of land to the BMC, for setting up a solid waste disposal plant.
Mulund garbage dumping ground in Mumbai permanently shut
A garbage dumping ground in Mumbai’s Mulund area has been permanently shut, after it reached its capacity, which is likely to put further strain on the dumping grounds in Deonar and Kanjurmarg
October 3, 2018: The garbage dumping ground at Mulund in suburban Mumbai was permanently closed from October 1, 2018, after it got filled to its maximum capacity, a civic official said. Over 7,000 metric tonnes of waste being generated every day in the city, will now be dumped at the landfills in Deonar and Kanjurmarg areas, he said. “A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) team found that no more waste can be dumped at the Mulund landfill and subsequently, it was decided to close it,” the official from the civic body’s solid waste management department said.
In February 2016, the Bombay High Court had ordered the BMC to close down the Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds, after observing that they had reached their saturation points. The high court, last month, directed the Maharashtra government to identify and allot a vacant land within two months, to the Mumbai civic body, to set up a new garbage dumping ground. “We know that Kanjurmarg and Deonar dumping grounds are also nearing their full capacity and cannot be used for long. Therefore, two locations have been identified in Navi Mumbai at Airoli and Taloja,” the BMC official said.
In June 2018, the BMC had appointed a consortium of companies to process waste scientifically, at the Mulund dumping ground. The Mulund landfill, spread over an area of 24 hectares and the second largest dumping ground in Mumbai after the one at Deonar, was being used since 1967. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has been following the issue, said the BMC’s decision to close the Mulund landfill will benefit over one million people residing in the periphery of the dumping ground. “Now I am following the issue of how to dispose the waste at the Deonar landfill scientifically and how the stench at the Kanjurmarg landfill can be minimised,” said Somaiya, who represents the Mumbai north-east constituency, which covers the Mulund area.
The BMC has time till October 2018, to use the Deonar dumping ground.