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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

MPCB shuts down 7 industries in Navi Numbai’s Taloja area for violating pollution norms

State pollution control board conducts checks to ensure the factories are closed; shutting down not the solution, say environmentalists

mumbai Updated: Nov 24, 2017 14:52 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Taloja has close to 1,000 pharmaceutical, food and engineering factories.
Taloja has close to 1,000 pharmaceutical, food and engineering factories.(HT File)

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) issued closure notices to seven industries located in Taloja industrial area, Navi Mumbai.

The factories include three frozen food product companies, two marine product firms, one plastic and one chemical industry.

Poor water quality in Maha rivers
  • A Maharashtra Pollution Control Board study found that these locations near industrial areas have ‘bad to very bad’ (toxic levels) water quality -
  • Kunalika River, Arekhurd, Raigad
  • Rabodi Nullah, Thane-Belapur
  • Colour Chem Nullah, Thane-Belapur
  • Tarapur MIDC Nullah, Palghar
  • Kasadi River, near Taloja Industrial plant, Navi Mumbai

Notices were issued earlier this week, and on Thursday, officers ensured that the factories had stopped operations, MPCB officials said. Action was taken after state environment minister Ramdas Kadam’s visit to the site on November 9.

“We have shut down these industries for violations under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. We observed that they were not treating their waste water and were releasing it directly into the creek that meets Kasadi river,” said Anil Mohekar, regional officer, MPCB. “While some of the industries were carrying out primary treatment, they failed to do secondary treatment, or install an online monitoring system.”

On November 15, HT had reported that 10 members of the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at Taloja had been booked over the release of untreated industrial waste into Kasadi river, near Navi Mumbai. The pollution level of Kasadi river is 13 times higher than the safe limit, as per a water quality analysis carried out by the local municipal corporation.

The Taloja police said board members have not yet been arrested.

According to MPCB, the area has close to 1,000 pharmaceutical, food and engineering factories spread across 2,157 acres of Taloja industrial area in Navi Mumbai. Of these, 347 small- and medium-sized industries, mostly chemical, pharmaceutical and food processing companies, are the key polluting industries, with just one CETP treating effluents. Collectively, the industries employ around 76,000 people and have an annual turnover of Rs 60,000 crore.

Environmentalists said shutting down these industries is not the solution. “These industry operators must be jailed for polluting the environment and endangering people’s lives. They need to pay a heavy penalty so that it discourages industries from being careless about pollution, and the damage to the environment must be recovered financially,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, NGO Watchdog Foundation.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 14:52 IST

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