4 polluting factories at Taloja MIDC close down
Anant Harshvardhan, regional officer of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), said, “We had earlier warned the industries about the pollution caused by them. They didn’t comply with the order.”Updated: Jun 13, 2019, 00:31 IST
Four polluting industries at Taloja’s Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area have been shut after the directions by National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Anant Harshvardhan, regional officer of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), said, “We had earlier warned the industries about the pollution caused by them. They didn’t comply with the order.”
He added that one chemical unit has been given a show-cause notice.
Activist Arvind Mhatre, who moved NGT in 2017 against the polluting units, has been fighting for clean air and water.
“Despite show-cause notices and directions by NGT, the pollution control board has failed to ensure that directions have been followed. This is the reason pollution has not reduced,” said Mhatre.
There is only one common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Taloja MIDC which has a capacity to treat 23 MLD but it is lying defunct for the past five years. Effluents are released untreated. A new CETP to treat 27 MLD effluents is in the pipeline.
MIDC, which took over the CETP in 2013, is tight-lipped about the defunct CEPT.
An MIDC official requesting anonymity said, “Though MIDC is looking after the CETP, it has not taken measures to stop pollution. Officials said lack of funds has hit CETP work.”
Mhatare said only a few industries have their own effluent treatment plants.
“Common effluent treatment plant is still defunct and untreated waste is released into Kasadi river destroying mangroves. The increased pollution in the creek at Kamothe, Vashi and Kharghar have affected marine life. Other than shutting down industries, MPCB should see that CETP is functioning.”
Untreated effluents are being discharged into Kasadi river for the past five years.
A month ago, Mhatre filed an RTI query to get information about the industries.
MPCB issued the shutdown issue after Mahatre learnt through RTI reply that the units were still functioning. “I was shocked to know that shut units were still functioning so I complained to the officials about it,” said Mhatre.
The NGT will hear the case on July 23.
Satish Shetty, president of CETP cooperative society, said, “MIDC must act on the complaints. MPCB has given direction to MIDC to check pollution caused by industries and act accordingly.”
Rajesh Zanzad, MIDC nodal officer, said the expansion work of CETP and repair of punctured pipelines carrying industry waste is on.
“We keep checking industries and issue notices to the polluting units. We have also done a survey of the CETP to assess the kind of waste produced,” said Zanzad.
For years, Kharghar, Kalamboli and Panvel are affected because of pollution by industries at Taloja.
Activist and environmentalist, Sudhir Dani said, “Shutting down industries and giving show-cause notices to the industries is just an eyewash. MPCB has not been able to check pollution.”