BMC to Construct Boundary Wall Near Thane Creek to Stop the Flow of Toxic Materials

BMC to Construct Boundary Wall Near Thane Creek to Stop the Flow of Toxic Materials

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that it will construct a boundary wall near the Thane creek using a synthetic vinyl sheet piling. This will be done so as to avoid the dumping of hazardous leachate that comes from the Deonar dumping ground. Officials said that this boundary wall will also prevent the collapse of garbage mounds on the side of the creek which is adjacent to the dumping ground.

Leachate is a form of contaminated liquid generated by the percolating water at a solid waste disposal site. This has the ability to contaminate ground and surface water with dangerous materials like ammonia nitrogen and heavy metals.

Additional Municipal Commissioner at the BMC, Suresh Kakani said, “The synthetic sheet piling will stop percolation of leachate to the creekside and contamination. The separated leachate will be moved to some other location for further treatment. This will also help in the possibility of the collapse of garbage mound either on creekside or on landfill area.”

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Over the past few years, environmentalists and some authorities have raised concerns about the discharging of leachate at Thane creek via the dumping ground at Deonar. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a penalty of ₹5 crores against the BMC in 2018 for improper handling of waste and the failure to separate leachate from the waste generated at Deonar. 

With 5,400 metric tons of garbage produced by Mumbai every day, around 25 per cent goes to the Deonar site while the rest is sent to Kanjurmarg. 

Officials from the BMC’s Solid Waste Management Department have said that work on this project will be undertaken in two phases with the first phase seeing the 1 km area adjoining the creek covered with the aforementioned synthetic piling. Another official said that the goal is to avoid an incident like the one in Delhi’s Bhalswa landfill which collapsed in August last year. 

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The civic body is reportedly planning to apply piling 23 metres below the ground level so as to avoid the percolation of leachate and the collapse of garbage due to heavy-flowing streams around the creek. It is said that the heap of garbage currently stands at 40 metres. 

“The vinyl sheet is comparatively stronger than concrete and can face garbage pressure at creekside. It is used worldwide due to sustainability against leachate,” a BMC official said.

The BMC is currently awaiting approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for the construction of synthetic sheets around Thane creek. “Since the project area is adjacent to the creek and comes under CRZ II (coastal regulation zone), the BMC will have to take permission from MCZMA. The contractor is responsible for seeking clearance from the authority,” a senior department official said.

Interestingly, despite the dumping site falling under the flight runway funnel zone, the civic body has the necessary permissions from the Airports Authority of India to have a heap of garbage up to 84 metres tall.

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