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article imageMumbai fighting pollution again as another garbage dump burns

By Karen Graham     Mar 21, 2016 in Environment
Mumbai - Another fire erupted on Saturday in Mumbai, India's largest of three dumping grounds, the 326-acre Deonar landfill. The smoke was so thick the city's air quality again dropped to "poor."
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board is very concerned about the financial capital's worsening air quality, reports Reuters. The board cited the fire that started in January in the same dump as causing the closure of a number of schools.
The earlier fire, as reported in Digital Journal on February 4, was so big, and produced so much smoke that NASA's Landsat 8 satellite picked it up. The Deonar landfill receives around 5,500 metric tons of garbage every day, and there are frequent fires that have led to many cases of respiratory disorders in residents in nearby neighborhoods.
This fire at the  Deonar garbage dump started on Saturday.
This fire at the Deonar garbage dump started on Saturday.
One India News
The Hindu reported on Monday that officials say the smoke from this weekend's fire is worse than the one in January. Locals are saying the fire episodes at the garbage dump will only get worse and more frequent in the days to come.
“This is a continuing process. The area is always on fire during summer, and we fear that the instances may increase as it will start to get warmer,” said Ehsan Ahmed Sheikh, a resident of Rafique Nagar, a neighborhood adjoining the dumping ground.
The garbage dump is always on fire say local residents, and no one pays attention until the smoke get bad. “One realises it especially during summer season. If you dig a few feet, you will see fumes coming out. The whole place is always on fire,” said Mr. Sheikh, adding that the week before, another fire had broken out and burned for two days,
Mumbai's Pollution Control Board has fears that the city's pollution may start to resemble Delhi's levels, even though Delhi is taking action to reduce pollution by restricting traffic in the city, reports Reuters. The World Health Organization said that in 2014, Delhi was the most polluted city out of 1,600 studied.
The Deonar garbage dump was not the only one to have a fire breakout this weekend. A fire was reported at the Mulund dumping ground on Saturday night, and it turned out to be minor. But residents in the area around the Mulund dump site say fires are a regular occurrence there, too. It seems that air quality all across the city has deteriorated.
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