MUMBAI: A Mumbai-based NGO has alleged that a ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plant at Aarey Milk Colony has been flouting pollution norms by spreading dust in the area.
After a complaint was filed by NGO Watchdog Foundation with the state pollution control board on Tuesday, regarding the RMC plant situated at the junction of Aarey Milk Colony road and Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road, officials from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said they would be taking action.
“The RMC plant has been causing air pollution in the radius of 500 metres and is damaging flora and fauna in the proposed eco-sensitive zone around Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey. There is also a thickly-populated slum colony which is affected by dust pollution,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation.
Residents from the area pointed out that the RMC plant (see box) had not been sprinkling water to control the dust emanated daily. “When trucks carrying cement leave the plant, there is a large amount of dust in the air. Large trees in the area are dying because of the dust collected on the leaves. We are forced to cover our faces while walking through the area,” said Mangesh Jadhav, resident of Aarey.
According to MPCB guidelines, RMC plants must create a 100m buffer zone from residential areas and arterial roads. HT reported on March 13 that MPCBhad shut down 32 RMC plants found to be flouting pollution-control rules. In September last year the board shut down and dismantled three RMC plants on Malad-Malwani Road.
Pimenta added that if action against the plant was not carried out, residents of the area and the NGO would be holding a protest outside MPCB’s Sion office.
Officials from MPCB said they had taken cognisance of the complaint. “Our sub-regional officers will be visiting the site and checking whether dust separation and collection systems are in place. If we observe a pollution problem, we will initiate immediate action against the plant,” said BP Solunke, regional officer Mumbai, MPCB.