Pimpri-Chinchwad civic body cracks the whip against illegal scrap godowns & shops - Hindustan Times
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Pimpri-Chinchwad civic body cracks the whip against illegal scrap godowns & shops

ByVicky Pathare
Apr 15, 2024 10:13 PM IST

From next week, the civic body will start disconnecting water supply to all such units located in Jadhav Wadi, Chikhali and Kudalwadi, officials said

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Monday decided to take action against illegal scrap godowns and shops. From next week, the civic body will start disconnecting water supply to all such units located in Jadhav Wadi, Chikhali and Kudalwadi, officials said.

In the past 10 years, many illegal tin sheds, scrap godowns and shops have mushroomed in the area. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
In the past 10 years, many illegal tin sheds, scrap godowns and shops have mushroomed in the area. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Shekhar Singh, municipal commissioner, PCMC, said, “Given the frequent problem of fire incidents at these illegal scrap units, we have decided to take action against them. The fire reports are persistent, posing a hazard to the citizens living in these areas and eventually causing environmental damage. We are going to disconnect the water supply to all illegal scrap godowns and shops.”

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In the past 10 years, many illegal tin sheds, scrap godowns and shops have mushroomed in Jadhav Wadi, Chikhali and Kudalwadi. So much so that currently, there are as many as 5,000 such unauthorised structures in these areas. While landowners have given their lands to these scrap godowns and shops, the latter are operating without any fire safety compliance or permission, with the blessings of elected members, according to citizens.

Earlier on April 6, a major fire broke out in the Kudalwadi area, gutting more than 150 illegal scrap shops and godowns. Firefighters took five long hours to control the blaze. Such incidents are frequent in these areas.

A PCMC official said, “The scrap godowns and shops are located on private land in a residential zone. The scrap dealers utilise all the space on their plots to stack scrap materials, leaving hardly any space for movement of their workers and vehicles inside the premises. The godowns and shops are separated by tin sheets instead of brick walls and during fire incidents, the fires spread quickly from one godown to another.”

Scrap godowns, shops causing air, river pollution

During a joint inspection conducted by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and PCMC a few months ago, the scrap godowns and shops operating in the Chikhali and Kudalwadi areas were found to release toxic waste, chemicals and untreated domestic sewage. They were also found causing air pollution by burning industrial waste and scrap.

Most of these are scrap godowns that store plastic, paper, rubber, iron, wood, plastic drums, aluminium etc. among other scrap material. The scrap material is washed and the same water is discharged into the Indrayani River without being treated, said an MPCB official.

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