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Maharashtra pollution board cracks whip on Alibaug civic bodies for not collecting garbage for 6 months

Mumbai city news: The move comes a day after HT reported that Kihim beach was one of the several dirty beaches close to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 09:57 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,MPCB,alibaug
Kihim is one of many dirty beaches in and around the city.(HT Photo)

The state pollution control board cracked the whip on municipal authorities at Alibaug district for inadequate waste treatment facilities.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Friday issued three notices to the chief officer, Alibaug Municipal Council, chief executive officer (CEO), Zilla Parishad (ZP) Alibaug and the village development officer, grampanchayat, Kihim, asking them why municipal solid waste was not collected, segregated or treated properly in the past six months.

The move comes a day after HT reported that Kihim beach was one of the several dirty beaches close to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

NGO Awaaz Foundation wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last Thursday highlighting the issues faced by the beach that including accumulated garbage, oil and chemical pollution. Residents of Kihim Beach and Kamat Village organised a clean-up and collected about 1,000 bags of garbage from a stretch of the beach. This mixed garbage, consisting mainly of plastic and thermocol awaits segregation and disposal at an authorised location.

The pollution watchdog also issued guidelines to the civic authorities for scientific waste recycling. “We have given them two months to ensure that waste is treated properly,” said AN Harshvardhan, regional officer, Raigad. “The village development officer and ZP need to ensure that all the garbage gathered by Kihim residents is collected within the next 15 days and kept at a makeshift garbage dump until the facility is ready.”

Read: World oceans day: After Versova, will these beaches in Maharashtra also get a clean-up?

He added that a notice will be issued to the Raigad collector’s office, informing them about the issue as well. “We surveyed the entire length of Kihim and other beaches in the district. We found illegal dumping of waste at several locations, and this is a serious problem,” said Harshvardhan. “The civic and district authorities have been given three days to respond, failing which legal action and criminal proceedings will be carried out against them.”

Activists said that the state government needed to support the district administration to resolve the issue. “The state needs to allot land for the dumping ground, which is currently unavailable. It is not possible for local administrations to carry out such a project on their own. The state needs to take a firm stand and implement policies on a priority basis,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.

Officials from Raigad collector’s office said that the ZP had informed them about the issue. “We have directed the gram panchayat to remove the garbage immediately. However, since the district collector was recently transferred, we are waiting for directions from the state,” said a senior official from the collector’s office.

What’s happening at Kihim?

Located north of Alibaug, Kihim is almost 96 km by road from Mumbai and almost 19 km by sea is major tourist destination in Maharashtra. The beach is currently plagued by a number of pollution problems such as oil deposition, plastic pollution and even chemical deposition at the beach.

“Kihim suffers from regular oil spills, accumulated garbage from decades and chemical pollution, which is not being cleaned,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “The district administration says that they cannot plan for large quantities of garbage and neither have any plan for their regular household garbage either.”

First Published: Jun 10, 2017 23:41 IST