ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India's Garbage Problem

Mumbai's landfill fire shows that Indian cities are at sea with garbage.

  In the last week of January, Mumbai was blanketed in thick smog. The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed the 300- mark, a benchmark deemed “very poor” by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In some of the city’s suburbs, the index crossed the 350-mark and in a few areas, it stood perilously close to 400, a mark deemed “severe” by CPCB and a health hazard by the World Health Organization. More than 70 schools were closed for two days.

The acrid haze was a result of a fire that broke out on 27 January in one of Mumbai’s biggest landfills. Situated in the city’s eastern suburb, Deonar, the dump gets nearly 5,000 tonnes of waste every day. Residents of the nearby suburbs of Chembur and Govandi regularly charge the dump of being a health hazard. Newspaper reports have it that the pile of waste is way past tipping point and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is contemplating shutting it down for good.

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