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Alternative Technology for Biomedical Waste Disposal, Govandi Deonar Mumbai

Author profile picture Govandi Citizens #𝑺𝒂𝒗𝒆𝑮𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊 
i
28 October
Dear Internet,
Story of the residents fighting to shut down the biomedical waste treatment plant in Govandi. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that I realised that I must join the fight for clean air. As biomedical waste increased tenfold at health facilities and inside people’s homes, I began to see the connection between the increasing biomedical waste and the huge quantities of waste being burnt in the incinerator installed in my area. I live in Govandi, where the life expectancy of the people is at an abysmal 39 years on average. The region has a 132 hectare dumping ground, where waste from the entire city is brought. Govandi was one of the worst hit areas during the pandemic as ill health, extremely precarious and cramped housing conditions and abject poverty of the people living in shanties affected the ability of the residents to combat the virus. Apart from the dumping ground, slums and resettlement colonies, we also have small-scale recycling facilities situated in the slums itself. Our homes are the backyard for the dumping ground, the toxic gases from the biomedical waste incinerator and the small-scale recycling units. A saga of complaints. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has authorised SMS Envoclean company located a few kilometres away to treat biomedical waste on a 20-year contract since 2009. Over the years, toxic emissions from the plant at Govandi East became a serious health concern for us locals. This is the only bio-medical waste treatment facility in all of Mumbai, where hazardous waste is burned regularly in nearby residential areas. The emission of black toxic smoke from its chimney is a health hazard. In July 2019, the company was issued a closure notice about non-compliance, but the company managed to obtain a stay order in the same month. Residents who were witnessing the effects of the biomedical plant filed a complaint with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and we reached out to the authorities through our social media handles, via email, post and news media to make our voices heard. The CPCB directed the Maharashtra PCB to take action but the rest of the year was spent by citizens filing legal complaint after complaint asking for the MPCB to take cognisance. Insert screenshot of tweet -https://twitter.com/GovandiCell/status/1284776958195163137?t=bePZU4MDk-r8Kg-Ww5Krsg&s=19 Residents of Govandi have been battling for decades against environmental damage, but no Authorities are worried about the conditions of victims. Garbage dumping and incineration has a severe impact on our health. Pollution not only damages the environment but also increases the mortality rate of human beings. We are being treated worse than animals, it is the responsibility of the entire city to act on this issue and demand, for the betterment of the city and its residents, that the plant should be shut down. The entire region of Govandi needs attention from the authorities to ensure that the toxic effects of the industries, recycling units, and incinerators are mitigated for a healthy, clean and safe environment for all.

Govandi Citizens #𝑺𝒂𝒗𝒆𝑮𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊 

Author profile picture Govandi Citizens #𝑺𝒂𝒗𝒆𝑮𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊 

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    Dear Jennifer Dresden, [highlight=transparent]I am an ordinary citizen who is concerned about the future of democracy. You know better than I that the US midterm elections will be a bellwether for things to come.[/highlight] [highlight=transparent]You gave a fantastic int...

    Edit Buttons, Selfies and Life

    Tobias Lim on 8 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]I have sometimes wished for an edit button on this platform. I even went as far as to send the founder of Collate a request for this very feature. I happen to be a clumsy perfectionist, you see. I have an uncanny knack for find...

    Thickheaded Corporations

    Tobias Lim on 14 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]A few months ago, a family-friend who we will call Valerie bought two tickets for herself and her friend for travel long overdue. They were excited to visit someplace exotic after extended lockdowns and closed international bor...

    An Addendum to Gelatinous Ignorance

    Tobias Lim on 14 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]A few weeks ago, I wrote a short letter about the “[/highlight][color=rgb(17, 85, 204)][highlight=transparent][url=https://www.collate.org/closed_letter/dealing-with-our-gelatinous-ignorance/sender]gelatinous ignorance[/url][/h...

    Why are video games so violent?

    Tobias Lim on 15 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Michael Kasumovic, [highlight=transparent]I came across an interesting article on [/highlight][color=rgb(17, 85, 204)][highlight=transparent][url=https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/why-do-we-play-violent-video-games#:~:text=Kasumovic%20says.,to%20satisfy%20...

    Love, Terror, and Brainwashing — How can we stop cult-like politics?

    Tobias Lim on 15 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Alexandra Stein, [highlight=transparent]In light of recent political developments, I was looking for books and papers to better understand the nature of human organization and social structure. I found your research on cults especially illuminating. So t[/highlight]h...

    What are your plans for Cressbrook Dale?

    Christopher Crompton on 21 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Rachel Elnaugh, I have been visiting the Peak District National Park for many years and regard Cressbrook Dale as one of its gems of natural beauty and biodiversity. The woodland and wildflowers through the seasons are a particular joy, and as National Park access l...

    A question about the mindful athlete

    Tobias Lim on 21 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear George Mumford, [highlight=transparent]I bought my second copy of The Mindful Athlete a few days ago. This time, I plan to give it to a friend as a Christmas gift. You see, this friend of mine is facing a series of setbacks and personal hardships. But I am hopeful t...

    Letters to Tarkovsky

    Tobias Lim on 4 December
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, When a nobody like myself writes in letter form to a public figure, there is only a small probability that she will see my words amidst the flood of mail and messages that she inevitably receives. Beyond that, there is an even smaller chance that she...

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