Mumbai: Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday took note of the massive fire that broke out at Mumbai's Deonar dumping ground in the eastern suburbs of the city since Saturday evening and is still not under control.
Our team will go there and submit a report. It's a serious issue, Prakash Javadekar said while talking to reporters.
I would be talking to the Chief Minister as well, the Environment Minister added.
Twelve fire engines have been pressed into service to douse the blaze.
Government schools in central Mumbai's Shivaji Nagar and Deonar were closed for two days due to thick smog caused by the fire.
Local residents living near the Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai are facing serious problems, as a fresh fire broke out on Sunday afternoon, enveloping the stretch from Chembur to Navi Mumbai in smoke and seriously affecting the air quality.
We are suffering a lot. I have got my eye operated, have breathing problems too due to Deonar dumping smoke, a local resident told ANI.
The fire has been raging since past three days. People are seriously affected, the state government must look into it immediately, complained another local resident.
With fire tenders still trying their best to douse the flame, the entire area has been covered with smoke.
Locals have been complaining for many years that the dumping ground should be removed and shifted to a place which is not densely populated, but the administration has not been doing anything, apart from making promises.
Shairaz Hussain, one of the local residents, told ANI that locals have to face a lot of breathing problems because of the smoke that comes out of the dumping ground.
"The fire broke out at around 10 am. I think the dumping ground should be removed from this place so that the local residents can be relieved. This dumping should be carried to the place where is there less population. The local residents face a lot of problems because of the smoke that comes out and one's with the problem of asthma suffer a lot," he said.
Another resident, Mushtaq Khan claimed that there is no permission to dump the garbage there, but no one pays a heed to the problems faced by the local residents.
"Whenever a fire breaks out in this dumping ground, it becomes extremely difficult for the local residents and especially the ones with Asthma, as they have to face a lot of suffocation. The kids and the elders face a lot of problem because of the smoke. It is not the first time that a fire has broken out. It happens daily. It is never doused. It is only when it takes the shape of a major fire that people start worrying and complain. This is a continuing process. The area is always on fire during the summer and we fear that the instances may increase as it gets warmer," he said.
The first major fire at the dumping ground this year broke out on January 28 and lasted an entire week.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had on February 2 promised to take steps to tackle the problem of recurring fire at the dumping ground.
He had said two fire engines would be stationed at Deonar, but residents of the area, on March 19 when the fire broke out, had to call fire officials to alert them.
Experts blame the lack of waste management policy and crammed dumping yards in Mumbai's municipalities for the Deonar fire.