| Mar 16, 2017, 04.00 AM IST
Thousands of residents are already suffering from the dump’s stench

Vadodara: The worst fears of residents staying around the now defunct solid waste processing plant of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) at Atladara came true with solid waste there catching fire on Wednesday.

Smoke started emanating from the site and the fire brigade had to spend a better part of the day there on Wednesday to contain the flames.

On Wednesday morning, the residents were subjected to noxious fumes billowing from the waste. The fire brigade was called at around 10.30am and started sprinkling water on the waste to control the fire. The fire was contained only at about 9pm. Thousands of residents around the site are already suffering from the stench of this dump. VMC officials said that the fire had begun at the far end of the sit near the Vishwamitri river. “There is little chance of fire taking place at that site by someone doing so deliberately. Nobody goes that deep into the site,” said a VMC official.

It is likely that the fire might have occurred due to trapped methane in the heap.

Sources in the fire brigade said that the incident was not isolated. They pointed out that such incidents had taken place at the site earlier too and they had to attend calls.

The plant set up at the site in 1977 for processing organic waste to make compost from it has been shut since 2014 and it was able to process only about half of the waste brought to it earlier as the ratio of inorganic waste increased. The inorganic waste left behind by the plant as well as fresh waste allegedly dumped there in small amounts later kept accumulating creating a menace for the residents who had to live with the stench. It was only recently that VMC floated tenders to take care of the waste that was accumulated at the site.

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