Housing societies in Mumbai not treating waste may face power, water cuts

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MUMBAI: More than 3,000 of the 5,000-odd housing societies and establishments here that have not yet begun to treat their waste despite the October 2 deadline could face power and water cuts.

In one of its sternest moves so far, the BMC is considering notifying the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) about these recalcitrant societies.

As many as 3,140 of the 4,749 bulk waste generators in Mumbai that were issued notices to treat their own garbage have not responded to the BMC in the affirmative so far. Merely 251 or around 7% of the establishments served notices have begun composting. Some 188 societies have sought an extension, though the BMC has made it clear it would show consideration only to those that can cite a valid reason. The BMC had announced that it would stop lifting waste from bulk generators in the city from October 2.

Mehta said currently, a three-month extension has been granted on a case-to-case basis, after which the civic body would stop lifting garbage.

“The BMC is holding exhibitions, meeting housing societies to understand their problems in case they are not able to process their waste and also considering central segregation centres for societies that do not have the space. After chalking everything out, we expect people’s participation,” said Mehta.

Meanwhile, Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 state that all gated communities and institutions with more than 5,000 square metres area will, within one year from the date of notification of these rules and in patnership with the local body, ensure segregation of waste at source by generators. Biodegredable waste will be processed, treated and disposed of through composting or bio-methanization within the premises as far as possible.

Solid Waste Management Rules are not mandatory, though. The Environment Protection Act, on the other hand, mandates housing societies with an area larger than 20,000 square metres to compulsorily instal waste converters on their premises for recycling organic waste at source.

Currently, 7,600 metric tonnes of waste reaches the three dumps in the city every single day. The BMC hopes to bring down the waste taken to the dumps to around 5,000 metric tonnes a day with the waste management initiative.