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Mumbai’s Only Biomedical Waste Treatment Plant to Be Shifted Out of the City by Feb 2022

The firm was appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and has been handling COVID-19 related waste in this treatment facility since June. This includes gloves, masks, personal protective equipment or PPE and other health equipment

Mumbai’s Only Biomedical Waste Treatment Plant to Be Shifted Out of the City by Feb 2022
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The Maharashtra Environment Department has sent directives to SMS Envoclean Pvt Ltd, which is Mumbai’s only biomedical waste treatment unit, to leave Mumbai between December 2021 and February 2022. The government is taking this step so as to improve the air quality in the city’s eastern suburbs. 

This comes after officials received several complaints from residents of Govandi, Mankhurd, Deonar, and other nearby areas against SMS Envoclean regarding toxic air and black smoke coming out of its waste treatment facility. Residents have said that the smoke generated from this treatment facility has led to health issues among seniors and children. 

The firm was appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and has been handling COVID-19 related waste in this treatment facility since June. This includes gloves, masks, personal protective equipment or PPE and other related health equipment. 

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With this backdrop, State Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray has directed SMS Envoclean expedite the shifting process by looking for alternate sites within a month. The minister gave out the information after a meeting with the operators of the facility, MPCB (Maharashtra Pollution Control Board), BMC, and other local leaders.

“It was finalised that there would be no incineration or associated emission within Mumbai anymore and for this, a timeline has been charted out, that by December 2021, the plant will be moved out of the city,” Thackeray said.

The operators have previously identified a 3-acre plot in an uninhabited area near Khalapur in Raigad district which is approximately 70 Km from Mumbai.  

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Operators of the plant said that the decision has set them back significantly. “We do not have any other option. We now have to bear a cost of Rs 50 crore for setting up the entire facility at Khalapur and all efforts made in Mumbai will be wasted,” Amit Nilawar, director, SMS Envoclean said.

He went on to say that since COVID-19 infections are seeing a drop since the past few months, biomedical waste arriving at the facility has also seen a reduction. He said that the arrival of biowaste has seen a fall of 47% since September-October.  

“We are now receiving 17 to 18 tons per day against 32 tons till October first week. However, we are sending 6-7 tons to another unit in Taloja - Mumbai Waste Management Ltd for treatment,” he added.

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