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Debris dumping at Kharghar pond: Residents protest, stand in front of JCBs

The residents – from Sector 18 and 19 – who also filed a complaint at the Kharghar police station came out in full support of the unplanned protest.

mumbai Updated: Jun 03, 2018 01:24 IST
Padmja Sinha
Padmja Sinha
Hindustan Times
Kharghar pond,Debris dumping,debris
The dumping of debris is occasional in the area. However, it became regular since Friday and more trucks were seen making rounds to the site, a protestor said. (HT Photo)

More than 50 residents protested and stood in front of JCB machines that were dumping debris in a pond at Sector 19 in Kharghar.

The residents – from Sector 18 and 19 – who also filed a complaint at the Kharghar police station came out in full support of the unplanned protest.

The unlawful dumping activity was being carried out with permission from the City Industrial development corporation (Cidco).

The dumping of debris is occasional in the area. However, it became regular since Friday and more trucks were seen making rounds to the site, a protestor said.

The initiative to save the pond was taken by NGO Abhivyakti.

From complaining to wetland authorities and to reaching out to forest officials, the members tried everything, but did not get much support. Hence, they planned the impromptu protest against Cidco, who despite guidelines from the wetland committee did not bother to stop the dumping.

One of the protestors, Chandra Pandey, 52, said, “They were getting truckloads of debris. It looked like they were in a hurry to fill the entire pond. There is going to be a night watchman to make sure that they do not return to dump the debris.”

Pramod Patil, nodal officer, environment, Cidco, said, “People are free to protest, but this pond does not exist as a wetland in our map. It is an artificial pond, which developed due to natural depression in the area, years ago.”

He said that people do not want the view from their homes to be marred by new construction and hence the protest had been planned.

Nareshchandra Singh, who initiated the entire movement, said, “This natural water body is so deep that it does not dry up even in summer. With truckloads of debris making the rounds, it is quite clear that Cidco is aware and is doing nothing. This dumping is not possible without their support.”

He said that a visit by forest officials was scheduled for inspection, but they seemed seems to be in a hurry.

Dilip Kale, senior inspector, Kharghar police station, said, “A complaint application has been received. However, higher officials will decide about the registering an FIR.”

First Published: Jun 03, 2018 01:24 IST