Sena, BJP spar over Mumbai smog

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Mumbai, Feb 1: The BJP and Shiv Sena today engaged in a war of words over the massive smog, caused by fire at the Deonar dumping ground, that enveloped many parts of city, raising the pollution hazard.

BJP MP from Mumbai North East constituency Kirit Somaiya demanded action against officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), department of Environment and politicians which he said were allegedly involved in the incident.

Mumbai

He rubbished a theory doing rounds that a minor boy had started the fire at the dumping ground. Targetting Sena which holds the Environment portfolio, Somaiya said, "there is a massive corruption regarding the dumping ground.

Criminal cases should be registered against the guilty". In a swift rebuttal, Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam alleged a sabotage behind the fire incident and said it was aimed at defaming the Shiv Sena-ruled civic body.

He targetted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the issue. "Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis needs to probe as to where the file related to relocating the Deonar dumping ground is stuck and resolve the matter soon.

"If Fadnavis is positive about relocating the Deonar dumping ground then the issue can be resolved quite easily. Political leaders visiting the dumping ground are only indulging in unnecessary drama," he said.

Meanwhile, State Pollution Control Board (MPCB) chairman Arun Kumar said a team of officials will visit the dumping ground to find out the cause of fire and also its impact on environment. Sena MP from Mumbai South-Central, Rahul Shewale said the smog has increased pollution and health-related problems among citizens.

In a statement issued here, he instructed the civic officials to take immediate steps to provide relief to the people of the area.

Parts of Mumbai have been engulfed in a thick blanket of smog since Thursday due to the fire and other reasons, including a drop in temperature and vehicular pollution.

The smog had forced BMC to shut down 74 schools run by it in Central Mumbai's Deonar and Shivajinagar for two days last week as the smoke from the ground enveloped the area, causing breathing difficulties.

The schools reopened today. Deonar is one of the biggest dumping grounds in Mumbai and the amount of garbage has been increasing since years.

PTI 

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