Compare air quality reports of Mahul, find out if there’s improvement since 2015: Bombay high court
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the petitioners opposing the rehabilitation of project-affected persons (PAP) living along the Tansa pipeline to Mahul to prepare a comparative chart of surveys on air quality in Mahul done by various agencies to ascertain whether air quality has deteriorated or improved since 2015. The national green tribunal (NGT) in a 2015 order had said the ambient air quality of Mahul was not conducive for human habitation. The court has also restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from forcefully evicting people living along Tansa pipeline till the matter is decided.
The petitioners have been asked to submit the chart at the next hearing, which is on September 19.
The division bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice Bharati Dangre while hearing the petition of Tansa pipeline PAPs was informed by their advocate that the ambient air quality was not conducive for human habitation. The advocate submitted reports of various agencies like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to corroborate the claim.
The advocate submitted that though the industries operating in Mahul had staff quarters, the same was away from the wind flow. However, the rehab tenements of the BMC was directly in the line of the pollutant-carrying air emitted by the industries, as a result of which the health of the people being shifted from Tansa pipeline to Mahul was being adversely affected.
However, the state argued that the ambient air quality of Mahul was similar to that in most parts of the city and hence the objections of the petitioner were not maintainable. The BMCs special counsel concurred with the state and said there were differences in the survey reports of different agencies and there was a difference in the ambient air quality in Mahul after the NGT order.
The bench, however, was not satisfied by the submissions and said the rehabilitated people could not be forced to go there. The HC also said that as no comparison was done of all survey reports, the petitioner should draw up a comparison through a tabulated chart and submit it to the court so that it could be ascertained whether the ambient air quality had deteriorated or improved.