Megha Pol

I am a special correspondent with Hindustan Times and also the chief of bureau for Thane. I have worked in Thane for over a decade, covering social, civic, infrastructural, political and cultural issues.

Articles by Megha Pol

In Thane city, tree count up by 62.25% in last decade: TMC census report

Over the last decade, the number of trees in the city has increased by up to 62.25%; as per the recent tree census report published by the Thane Municipal Corporation, the tree count has risen from 4,45,262 in 2011 to 7,22,426 in 2022; however, the number of species has reduced from 301 to 271 in the same period
The Thane Municipal Corporation tree census report published recently has revealed a rise in the tree count from 4,45,262 in 2011 to 7,22,426 in 2022. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The Thane Municipal Corporation tree census report published recently has revealed a rise in the tree count from 4,45,262 in 2011 to 7,22,426 in 2022. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 07, 2022 07:15 PM IST
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By, Thane

More than 900 trees in Thane city identified as heritage trees

Thane Municipal Corporation tree authority has identified over 900 heritage trees across the city for the first time in its tree census report; of these heritage trees, 729 are of native species while 180 are exotic; experts claim that merely identifying them is not enough but they need to be protected
A banyan tree in Thane standing tall for decades. The banyan is one of the 900-plus heritage trees identified by Thane Municipal Corporation in its recent tree census report. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
A banyan tree in Thane standing tall for decades. The banyan is one of the 900-plus heritage trees identified by Thane Municipal Corporation in its recent tree census report. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 07, 2022 07:15 PM IST
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By, Thane

Awhad questions terms, conditions of tender for Kalwa Hospital pharmacy in Thane

In a series of tweets, the State Cabinet Minister and Mumbra-Kalwa MLA, Jitendra Awhad, has raised questions over the terms and conditions of the tender floated for the operation of the pharmacy at Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital, also known as Kalwa Hospital, in Thane
The State Cabinet Minister and Mumbra-Kalwa MLA, Jitendra Awhad, has raised questions over the terms and conditions of the tender floated for the operation of the pharmacy at Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital in Thane. (HT FILE PHOTO)
The State Cabinet Minister and Mumbra-Kalwa MLA, Jitendra Awhad, has raised questions over the terms and conditions of the tender floated for the operation of the pharmacy at Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital in Thane. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Published on Apr 01, 2022 08:36 PM IST
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By, Thane

3 Thane roads to turn into walk plazas in mornings from April 1

With a view to making safe walkways for morning walkers, Thane Traffic Police and the TMC are developing three morning walk plazas from April 1; one lane in each of the 3 roads – Mayor Bungalow to Payladevi Temple, Veer Birsamunda Road to Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar Road and Traffic Police Office in Teen Hath Naka to Dharamveer Anand Dighe Entrance – would be barricaded, beautified and dedicated only for morning walkers between 5.30am and 8am
One lane of Veer Birsamunda Road to Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar Road in Thane to be converted into morning walk plaza from April 1. Two other roads will also be used for walking. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
One lane of Veer Birsamunda Road to Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar Road in Thane to be converted into morning walk plaza from April 1. Two other roads will also be used for walking. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Mar 25, 2022 05:59 PM IST
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Underground parking facility below Gaondevi Maiden in Thane to be ready by early May: TMC

The first underground parking facility below the historic Gaondevi Maidan near Thane station will be open by early May, informed TMC officials; the facility will provide parking space for more than 250 vehicles, easing congestion near the Thane station premises caused due to lack of parking space
The underground parking below Gaondevi Maidan in Thane is 90% ready and will be operational from early May, say Thane civic body officials. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The underground parking below Gaondevi Maidan in Thane is 90% ready and will be operational from early May, say Thane civic body officials. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Mar 24, 2022 09:20 PM IST
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By, Thane

Exporter arrested for fraudulently claiming GST ITC of 15.26Cr

The Anti-Evasion Wing of Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST), Thane commissionerate of Mumbai Zone, has arrested an exporter, who is also a director of a private company, for fraudulently claiming GST Input Tax Credit (ITC) of 15.26Cr; this ITC was claimed on the basis of bogus invoices of 85Cr issued by fake entities
Exporter arrested by the Anti-Evasion Wing of CGST, Thane commissionerate of Mumbai Zone, for fraudulently claiming GST Input Tax Credit of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>15.26Cr. (HT FILE)
Exporter arrested by the Anti-Evasion Wing of CGST, Thane commissionerate of Mumbai Zone, for fraudulently claiming GST Input Tax Credit of 15.26Cr. (HT FILE)
Published on Mar 04, 2022 09:09 PM IST
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Thane Municipal Corporation to resume dog sterilisation progamme on March 1

After nearly three-and-a-half years, the dog sterilisation programme in Thane is set to start in the first week of March; Thane Municipal Corporation has claimed that a budget for 1.5Cr is being allotted for the same and it would be spending 1,640 for one sterilisation operation
Thane Municipal Corporation will be spending <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,640 for one dog sterilisation operation. (HT PHOTO)
Thane Municipal Corporation will be spending 1,640 for one dog sterilisation operation. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Feb 24, 2022 07:38 PM IST
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By, Thane

1,965 suggestions, objections raised on TMC draft ward delimitation

Ahead of Thane civic elections, out of 1,965 suggestions and objections raised, 1,607 suggestions/ objections were on the last day, Monday; most of these suggestions and objections are over the ward boundaries
Ahead of the civic elections, at least 1,965 suggestions and objections were received on the draft ward delimitation published by the Thane Municipal Corporation till Monday evening. (HT FILE)
Ahead of the civic elections, at least 1,965 suggestions and objections were received on the draft ward delimitation published by the Thane Municipal Corporation till Monday evening. (HT FILE)
Published on Feb 14, 2022 10:47 PM IST
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Shiv Sena, NCP blame each other for changing draft delimitation in Thane

The political rivalry between Shiv Sena and NCP witnessed in Thane since the last one month seems to be intensifying with both the parties alleging the other of changing the draft delimitation before it was made public on February 1
Thane Mayor, Naresh Mhaske, during a press conference in Thane on Friday. Sena, NCP blame each other for changing draft delimitation before it was made public. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Thane Mayor, Naresh Mhaske, during a press conference in Thane on Friday. Sena, NCP blame each other for changing draft delimitation before it was made public. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Feb 11, 2022 09:48 PM IST
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Thane Municipal Corporation budget favouring Sena, claims opposition

The opposition parties have claimed that while the projects are allotted to areas in Thane city where Sena has the upper hand, there are no provisions in the budget for Kalwa-Mumbra and other areas where the Nationalist Congress Party has the upper hand
TMC chief Vipin Sharma and other officials at the Thane Municipal Corporation budget presentation in Thane on Thursday. The opposition parties have claimed that the budget has been pro-Shiv Sena. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
TMC chief Vipin Sharma and other officials at the Thane Municipal Corporation budget presentation in Thane on Thursday. The opposition parties have claimed that the budget has been pro-Shiv Sena. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Feb 10, 2022 10:19 PM IST
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No raise in taxes as TMC presents Rs3,299Cr budget

With the civic general polls slated this year, the Thane Municipal Corporation’s budget estimate of 3,299Cr have no increase in taxes, which will come as a respite to Thane residents; the budget estimate, which has increased by 545Cr from the previous year, does not have any major project and the main focus is on decreasing debts and increasing revenue
The Rs3,299Cr budget presented by the Thane Municipal Corporation focuses on cluster development, among others, while there is no raise in taxes. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The Rs3,299Cr budget presented by the Thane Municipal Corporation focuses on cluster development, among others, while there is no raise in taxes. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 10, 2022 09:30 PM IST
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By, Thane

Thane Municipal Corporation sets up Rs149Cr budget for setting up transit camp

Claiming that the groundwork for the cluster development scheme has actually begun in 2021-22, Thane municipal commissioner, Vipin Sharma, informed that a budget of 149Cr is allocated for setting up of transit camp and carrying biometric survey of the beneficiaries in the year 2022-23
An aerial view of a cluster in Thane. Thane Municipal Corporation laid the foundation stone for the construction of the first rehabilitation building to rehabilitate the beneficiaries under the cluster development scheme in Lokmanya Nagar early this week. TMC has set up a Rs149Cr budget for setting up transit camp. (For representational purposes only) (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
An aerial view of a cluster in Thane. Thane Municipal Corporation laid the foundation stone for the construction of the first rehabilitation building to rehabilitate the beneficiaries under the cluster development scheme in Lokmanya Nagar early this week. TMC has set up a Rs149Cr budget for setting up transit camp. (For representational purposes only) (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Feb 10, 2022 08:02 PM IST
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Thane Municipal Corporation allocates budget of Rs100Cr for Covid for 2022-23

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the Thane Municipal Corporation has spent over 300Cr to improve health infrastructure and take prophylactic measures to deal with the first, second and third waves; the corporation had spent 80Cr in 2020-21, which increased to 233Cr in 2021-22; TMC has allocated Rs100Cr budget for the coming financial year
Thane Municipal Corporation has allocated a budget of Rs100Cr for Covid for 2022-23. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Thane Municipal Corporation has allocated a budget of Rs100Cr for Covid for 2022-23. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 10, 2022 07:43 PM IST
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Thane Municipal Transport tables budget estimate of 620Cr for 2022-23

The Thane Municipal Transport has tabled a budget estimate of 620Cr for the fiscal year 2022-23, focusing on the means to increase the revenue; this includes introducing midi buses on feeder routes joining the upcoming Metro Line 4, installing digital boards at Thane station and solar-enabled bus stops among others
Vilas Joshi (second from right), Thane Municipal Transport chairman, and his colleagues during the 2022-23 budget presentation in Thane on Tuesday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Vilas Joshi (second from right), Thane Municipal Transport chairman, and his colleagues during the 2022-23 budget presentation in Thane on Tuesday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 08, 2022 10:10 PM IST
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By, Thane

Banners address Thane Guardian Minister Shinde as Future Chief Minister

Ahead of Thane Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde’s birthday, the Shiv Sena party workers in the city had put up banners near Mulund Toll Plaza, to wish him; the banners also addressed him as ‘Future Chief Minister,’ the photos of which went viral; Shinde immediately gave directives to the party workers to pull down the banners after it was brought to his notice
A banner addressing Thane Guardian Minister Shinde as Future Chief Minister erected at Mulund Check Naka on Monday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
A banner addressing Thane Guardian Minister Shinde as Future Chief Minister erected at Mulund Check Naka on Monday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 07, 2022 09:31 PM IST
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Couple arrested in Thane for evading GST of Rs12.23Cr

Anti-Evasion Wing of Central Goods and Service Tax, Thane commissionerate of Mumbai Zone has arrested a couple for GST evasion to the tune of 12.23Cr
A husband-wife duo has been arrested in Thane for allegedly evading GST for over a year and is now remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. (HT FILE)
A husband-wife duo has been arrested in Thane for allegedly evading GST for over a year and is now remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. (HT FILE)
Published on Feb 04, 2022 05:40 PM IST
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Thane District Collector cancels licence issued to hotel owned by Wankhede

Thane District Collector has cancelled the licence issued to Hotel Sadguru in Navi Mumbai owned by former NCB Zonal Director, Sameer Wankhede; in his order, Collector Rajesh Narvekar stated that the licence was obtained by wilful misrepresentation or fraud as the agreement of sale does not mention Wankhede’s age at the time while his mother’s age is mentioned
Sameer Wankhede, former NCB Zonal Director, whose hotel licence has been cancelled by Thane District Collector on Wednesday. (ANI PHOTO)
Sameer Wankhede, former NCB Zonal Director, whose hotel licence has been cancelled by Thane District Collector on Wednesday. (ANI PHOTO)
Published on Feb 02, 2022 09:25 PM IST
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By, Thane

Process of delimitation of wards for Thane Municipal Corporation elections begins

As per the draft demarcation, the city will have 14 more wards and 11 more seats in the upcoming Thane Municipal Corporation elections taking into consideration the increase in population.
The process of delimitation of wards for Thane Municipal Corporation elections begins. The new wards will be important to decide the political future of the city. (HT FILE PHOTO)
The process of delimitation of wards for Thane Municipal Corporation elections begins. The new wards will be important to decide the political future of the city. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Published on Jan 29, 2022 06:16 PM IST
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Hurdles for Wadala to Thane Metro Line 4 cleared; survey of car shed land begins

The Wadala to Thane Metro Line 4 project is set to progress as one of the hurdles for the project has been cleared; after the Thane District Collector finally agreed to the demands of the local farmers, the survey of the car shed land at Mogharpada, Ghodbunder, Thane, that was stuck for over three years finally started on Friday
The survey of the car shed land for Wadala to Thane Metro Line 4 project began at Mogharpada area of Ghodbunder in Thane on Friday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The survey of the car shed land for Wadala to Thane Metro Line 4 project began at Mogharpada area of Ghodbunder in Thane on Friday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 08:14 PM IST
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Thane civic body assures to complete biometric survey in remaining cluster development areas in 8 days

Though the Thane Municipal Corporation has assured the speedy implementation of cluster development scheme, the general body revealed that the biometric survey is still not undertaken in most areas of the six Urban Renewal Plans approved by the State
Thane civic body assures to complete biometric survey in remaining cluster development areas in 8 days. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Thane civic body assures to complete biometric survey in remaining cluster development areas in 8 days. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 08:39 PM IST
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Railway authorities give Thane civic body nod for Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme - 2 project

Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme - 2 is being implemented to decongest the East side of the station; in a major relief for commuters, Thane Municipal Corporation has finally received permission from Railway authorities for the work of the elevated deck of SATIS 2 project
The work of the elevated road, a part of Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme - 2 in Thane (E) is 30% - 40% complete, claims Thane Municipal Corporation. Railway authorities have given approval to TMC for the work of elevated road and work would begin in the next 15 days. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The work of the elevated road, a part of Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme - 2 in Thane (E) is 30% - 40% complete, claims Thane Municipal Corporation. Railway authorities have given approval to TMC for the work of elevated road and work would begin in the next 15 days. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 04:22 PM IST
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By, Thane

Thane Municipal Corporation served legal notice for water crisis of Ghodbunder Road residents

Thane Municipal Corporation has been served a legal notice by two of the residents of Ghodbunder Road in view of the existing water woes in this area; residents claim that the corporation has failed to keep its promises to the Bombay High Court
A resident of Ghodbunder Road in Thane does her best to save water in view of the water woes that the residents face. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
A resident of Ghodbunder Road in Thane does her best to save water in view of the water woes that the residents face. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 20, 2022 08:11 PM IST
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By, Thane

Air at 6 junctions in Thane city polluted with AQI 201-240

Air you breathe in at six of the major junctions in Thane city is polluted, reveals the annual pollution report for the year 2020-21 published by the Thane Municipal Corporation; the six are Teen Hath Naka, Shilphata, Retibunder, Castle Mill, Balkum and Mumbra Fire Centre with Air Quality Index ranging from 201 to 240
Air pollution at Teen Hath Naka in Thane. Air quality at six major junctions in Thane city – Teen Hath Naka, Shilphata, Retibunder, Castle Mill, Balkum and Mumbra Fire Centre – is polluted with AQI 201-240. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Air pollution at Teen Hath Naka in Thane. Air quality at six major junctions in Thane city – Teen Hath Naka, Shilphata, Retibunder, Castle Mill, Balkum and Mumbra Fire Centre – is polluted with AQI 201-240. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 15, 2022 09:18 PM IST
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By, Thane

Kharegaon ROB in Kalwa inaugurated; motorists heave sigh of relief

Thousands of commuters and pedestrians who have been forced to cross the Kharegaon level-crossing can now heave a sigh of relief as the Kharegaon ROB in Kalwa was finally inaugurated on Saturday after missing several deadlines
Kharegaon ROB in Kalwa, which was inaugurated on Saturday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Kharegaon ROB in Kalwa, which was inaugurated on Saturday. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 15, 2022 08:51 PM IST
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By, Thane

Dog sterilisation programme in Thane at a standstill since Aug 2018

Dog sterilisation programme in Thane ended as TMC officials claimed the tenure of the NGO that did sterilisation till 2018 was not extended due to lack of funds and Covid; it will resume soon as work order to be issued and the tenders to be finalised in coming weeks
The Thane Municipal Corporation’s dog sterilisation centre has been closed since August 2018. Dog sterilisation programme in Thane is at a standstill for more than three years. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
The Thane Municipal Corporation’s dog sterilisation centre has been closed since August 2018. Dog sterilisation programme in Thane is at a standstill for more than three years. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 07:08 PM IST
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By, Thane

Bed occupancy rate rises in Thane by nearly 8% in one week as Covid cases increase

Bed occupancy rate in Thane city increases from 13.88% on January 6 to 21.47% on January 12 as Covid cases rise; out of the 20,703 active cases, only 968 are admitted while 19,735 people are in home isolation
With rise in Covid cases, residents line up to get themselves tested at GB Road in Thane on Thursday. Bed occupancy rate rises in Thane by 8% in one week. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
With rise in Covid cases, residents line up to get themselves tested at GB Road in Thane on Thursday. Bed occupancy rate rises in Thane by 8% in one week. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 13, 2022 06:25 PM IST
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By, Thane

In wake of increasing Omicron, Covid cases, Thane Municipal Corporation appeals to housing societies

Thane Municipal Corporation appeals to housing societies to inform about members with recent international travel history to curb the spread of Covid, Omicron, says no response to the helpline numbers and email address set up for the same
Thane Municipal Corporation appeals to housing societies in the wake of increasing Omicron, Covid cases. (For representational purposes only) (HT FILE PHOTO)
Thane Municipal Corporation appeals to housing societies in the wake of increasing Omicron, Covid cases. (For representational purposes only) (HT FILE PHOTO)
Published on Jan 13, 2022 04:34 PM IST
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By, Thane

71% of current active Covid cases in Thane concentrated in 3 wards alone

The Thane Municipal Corporation has reported 2,442 new cases on Friday, a 12% increase from Thursday; as per the data submitted by the civic body, around 71% of the total active Covid cases are concentrated in three wards – Majiwada-Manpada, Vartak Nagar and Uthalsar
A health worker prepares beds at a portable cabin in Thane Civil Hospital, Thane, on Friday. As per the TMC records, 71% of current active cases in Thane concentrated in 3 wards alone – Majiwada-Manpada, Vartak Nagar and Uthalsar. (PRAFUL GANGURDE / HT PHOTO)
A health worker prepares beds at a portable cabin in Thane Civil Hospital, Thane, on Friday. As per the TMC records, 71% of current active cases in Thane concentrated in 3 wards alone – Majiwada-Manpada, Vartak Nagar and Uthalsar. (PRAFUL GANGURDE / HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 07, 2022 09:52 PM IST
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By, Thane

Thane sees highest single day spike of 2,180 Covid cases; TMC to seal buildings

The earlier one day spike was 2100 in mid-April 2021, the Thane Municipal Corporation has given directives to seal any building that has more than 10 Covid positive cases; these buildings will also be declared as containment zones
Thane Municipal Corporation to seal buildings with more than 10 Covid positive cases (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Thane Municipal Corporation to seal buildings with more than 10 Covid positive cases (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 06, 2022 11:20 PM IST
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By, Thane

Dumping of garbage in Diva will stop by Jan 2022, claims Thane Municipal Corporation

In a major relief to the Thane residents, the Thane Municipal Corporation has now claimed that the dumping of garbage in Diva will stop by January 2022; Civic commissioner, Vipin Sharma, signed an agreement for the land in Bhandarli on Thursday in the presence of Thane Mayor, Naresh Mhaske, and the plot will be used for scientific treatment of waste
In a major relief to the Thane residents, the Thane Municipal Corporation has now claimed that the dumping of garbage in Diva will stop by January 2022. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
In a major relief to the Thane residents, the Thane Municipal Corporation has now claimed that the dumping of garbage in Diva will stop by January 2022. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
Published on Dec 02, 2021 09:51 PM IST
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By, Thane
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