Another cement plant comes up at Mumbai’s Aarey colony | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Another cement plant comes up at Mumbai’s Aarey colony

Another RMC plant has been set up along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Andheri (East), despite an NGT order banning all construction activities at Aarey until the next hearing...

mumbai Updated: Dec 28, 2016 11:29 IST
Badri Chatterjee
The RMC plant has been set up along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road in Andheri (East).
The RMC plant has been set up along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road in Andheri (East). (HT Photo)

Two months after a ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plant was shut down by the state pollution board at Aarey, another RMC plant has been set up at the city’s green lung along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Andheri (East), despite a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order banning all construction activities at Aarey until the next hearing.

NGO Watchdog Foundation filed a complaint alleging the plant was causing air pollution in the radius of 500m. “The new location of the RMC Plant is touching very fragile area of Aarey and the air pollution caused by the operation of this plant will be suicidal. Large trees in the area were dying because of the dust collected on the leaves,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, NGO Watchdog Foundation. “The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) needs to act immediately to preserve the city’s last green lung.”

On December 19, the NGT western bench passed an interim order banning all construction at Aarey Colony, including the construction of Metro III car-shed by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) till the next hearing on January 2.

“This is a blatant violation of NGT orders as even though the Union Environment Ministry had issued 1.65 sqkm area allowing constructions, it comes with a rider it can only cleared subject to Supreme Court, High Court and NGT orders,” said Stalin Dayanand, project director, NGO Vanshakti. “Nobody should try and interpret it conveniently for their vested interests.”

MPCB officials said they had taken cognisance of the complaint. “Our officers will be visiting the site to check whether the RMC plant has taken prior permission to set up the plant. We will also be checking whether there is a dust separation and control systems at the site,” said a senior official from MPCB.

On May 29, Hindustan Times had reported about a similar complaint in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey. Taking cognisance of the report, the pollution board shut down the RMC plant and instructed it to be dismantled in October.

According to MPCB guidelines, RMC plants must create a 100-m buffer zone from residential areas and arterial roads. They should have dust separation and collection systems to disperse collected dust after daily cement batching. But most plants do not follow this. In February, state environment minister Ramdas Kadam raised the issue of pollution caused by cement dust from RMC plants in the state Assembly.

MPCB officials said they had taken cognisance of the complaint. “Our officers will be visiting the site to check whether the RMC plant has taken prior permission to set up the plant. We will also be checking whether there is a dust separation and control systems at the site,” said a senior official from MPCB.

The Aarey Milk Colony (AMC) located in Goregaon East covers an area of 12.8 sqk m and is located towards the southern end of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

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