Govandi residents to live with waste incinerator till June 2023

Published on Jul 29, 2022 04:50 PM IST

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has said that it will not be possible to relocate the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s biomedical waste incinerator at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi before June 2023, despite repeated complaints of pollution and pollution-related health ailments in the region

Govandi residents to live with waste incinerator till June 2023
Govandi residents to live with waste incinerator till June 2023
ByPrayag Arora-Desai

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has said that it will not be possible to relocate the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s biomedical waste incinerator at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi before June 2023, despite repeated complaints of pollution and pollution-related health ailments in the region. This has sparked the ire of residents, who this week wrote to newly elected president Draupadi Murmu, seeking her intervention in the matter.

“This is the only bio-medical waste treatment facility in all of Mumbai, where hazardous waste is burned regularly in nearby residential areas. The emission of black toxic smoke from its chimney is a health hazard,” states the letter to the President of India, dated July 25. It further adds, “Officials are yet to shift the plant to Khalapur (Raigad district) away from the residential area. The deadline to shift the plant increases day by day. Now the MPCB says it will take up to June 2023. Who will compensate the residents for the health problems they continue to face in this period?”

A regional officer with the MPCB, seeking anonymity, shared that shifting of the plant has been delayed due to administrative reasons, as it has not yet received mandatory environmental clearance from the state environment department. This clearance is a prerequisite before construction work can begin.

“SMS Envoclean, the project proponent, had applied for the EC in 2020, but there have been delays in obtaining the permission. The pandemic had slowed down considerations for fresh EC proposals. Secondly, the state expert appraisal committee which considers these matters had been dissolved after its tenure expired. For almost five months there was no meeting. The committee has only just been reconstituted around two months ago. We are following up with them to process this clearance.”

Residents, meanwhile, say they are running out of patience and will soon start staging regular demonstrations against the BMC and MPCB. “We are at our wit’s end. The state environment department had clearly instructed the plant to be shifted to Khalapur by February 2022. This was then pushed to May 2022. Now, however, we are finding out that because the plant has not yet received environmental clearance from the state expert appraisal committee, we have to live amid the pollution for at least one more year. This constant delay does not inspire any faith in the local authorities,” said Shaikh Fayaz Alam, president of the Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society, a body which represents residents from Govandi, Deonar and Mankhurd who live within the incinerator’s zone of influence.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2022
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