The Kanjurmarg dumping ground is spewing hazardous fluids into Thane creek, and mangroves there are dying as debris has blocked off sea water, reveals a report by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), following a site visit on Monday.
The inspection took place after Mangesh Sangle, an MNS MLA, wrote to MPCB after he saw land-filling operations underway at the mangrove site.
During the site visit, MPCB found out that the landfill contractor, M/s Anthony and Lara Envirotech Pvt Ltd, was releasing untreated leachate (water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents) and an unidentified chemical into a wetland adjacent to the dumping ground.
The report, a copy of which is with HT, notes that water in the wetland has acquired a pink tinge due to the chemical. The leachate and the chemical have been sent for analysis.
The findings indicate that the BMC has violated environmental clearance (EC) norms at the landfill, which is spread over 141.77 hectares.
“Conservation of mangroves was a condition put down while granting EC. The release of untreated leachate into wetlands violates municipal solid waste rules,” said Stalin D, projects director, Vanashakti, an NGO that has approached court for closure of the landfill.
Forest officials who were part of inspection team said 15-16 of the 23 hectares of mangroves are damaged. BMC chief Sitaram Kunte said: “I have not seen the report, so I can’t comment on it.”
Despite repeated attempts, the contractor was unavailable for comment.