A day after the state pollution control board found that mangroves at the Kanjurmarg dump yard had been destroyed, operators of the landfill site, Anthony and Lara Envirotech Private Limited, said the coastal vegetation died because seawater flow might have been blocked during construction of culverts.
A site visit report by the Maharahstra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Monday had revealed that mangroves at the landfill site were destroyed and release of untreated hazardous fluid was polluting the Thane creek.
On November 6, the Bombay high court had stayed dumping of debris and municipal solid waste till December 11 following a public interest litigation filed by non-government organisation Vanashakti.
Jose Jacob, spokesperson of Anthony and Lara Envirotech, said: “When we took control of the site, we had to build culverts and it is possible that civil work might have blocked off seawater, though we are confident that the mangroves can rejuvenate.”
The MPCB report had also found that the wetland where untreated leachate was released had acquired a pink tinge due to the use of an unidentified chemical.
“We first observed the tinge three to four months ago. The municipal nullahs that release sewage water into the landfill site had caused the water in the wetland to turn pink. We had tested this water and found out that it is some sort of a dye and did not come from the leachate,” Jacob said.
The MPCB conducted a site visit on Monday after Mangesh Sangle, an MNS MLA, wrote to them as he saw landfilling operations underway at the mangrove site on Sunday.
“If nullahs around the landfill site are turning the water inside wetlands pink, the water in all wetlands inside the landfill site should have turned pink. We are also planning to request the court to appoint a court commissioner to inspect the site as the BMC and operators are altering the nature of the landfill site during a stay order,” said Stalin D, project director, Vanashakti.