Satellite images released by NASA show that a garbage fire in the Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai could be seen from space. On Sunday, 14 February, the fire broke out again after the earlier incident which NASA captured.
Firemen targeted three spots and managed to extinguish the fire till the evening. Notably, on 31 January BMC scraped the contractor and took over the dumping ground to initiate scientific closure of the property.
The first fire reportedly started on 27 January and raged for four days. Because of the fire, the Air Quality Index in Mumbai was at a ‘very poor’ level of 341 according to a Times of India report. And because of the poor air quality, schools around Deonar had to be shut down keeping the health and safety factor of children in mind. There were around 70 schools which had to declare a holiday.
Around 27 January, three satellites of NASA Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP detected evidence of smoke in their sensors. The Landsat 8 satellite captured natural and false colour images on 28 January.
A report in Mumbai Mirror suggests that this fire was started by three children (aged between 10 and 12) and despite officials using “standard operating procedure” on a “war footing” to control the blaze, it took four days to get the situation under control.
Last year, Bloomberg had reported that garbage management in Mumbai is in a dismal state and can lead to disastrous consequences.