The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on August 6 submitted a proposal before the state environment department seeking environment clearance (EC) for its proposed 4 MW waste-to-energy (WTE) plant at the Deonar dumping ground.
The state environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA) has accepted the BMC's proposal and is currently under examination by the state-level expert appraisal committee (EAC).
Application of the BMC for a green nod follows an online public hearing held on April 27. During the online public hearing, the project met with objection from those in attendance, especially people living near the landfill.
Many participants had pointed out that the WTE model has witnessed little success in other parts of the country and should not be replicated in Mumbai.
Environmentalist Anand Pendharkar said that our main claim was that this project will not resolve the waste dumping problem in Deonar. On the contrary, we are required to enforce source segregation.
The broad argument placed by environmentalists was that the WTE model incentivises the production of waste rather than concentrating on source segregation. Across Europe and even China, the WTE plants are being proactively closed because they emit carcinogenic dioxins and furans.
One important point which has not been reflected is that the draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was not made widely available before the hearing. The report copies are available in certain offices. The report should have been posted online, said Bilal Khan, a social worker.
BMC, solid waste management (projects), deputy chief engineer Minesh Pimple said, that all comments, feedback, and objections have been duly noted. The expert appraisal committee will consider them and take suitable action.