Navi Mumbai residential associations come together in fight against pollution from Taloja MIDCUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:57 IST
Various residential associations of Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalamboli and Taloja have joined hands to fight the air pollution menace together. The areas have been suffering for years, especially at night, due to pollution from Taloja MIDC, the residents claimed.
The agitation was started by various social organisations two years ago. However, since the pollution has not been curbed, the associations decided to fight it out together. The industries in Taloja have led to both air and water pollution over the years, claimed the residents.
Leena Garad, president of Kharghar Forum, said. “We intend to bring together the organisations and citizens who have previously worked against pollution in the Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalamboli and Taloja areas. Together, we would set up Anti-Pollution Struggle Committee and build organisational structure for the next movement. In the next meeting, we also intend to make a list of companies that contribute to pollution, if possible, by scientifically studying what exactly causes the pollution,” Garad said.
Kasam Mulani, president of Taloja Pachanand Residential Social Organisation, said, “There are 937 industries in Taloja MIDC and the pollution from them is suffocating the residents in the surrounding areas. There have been incidents of fishes in Kasadi River dying because of the chemicals discharged into it. There have also been incidents of cattle dying due to the inhalation of polluted air. We have been writing to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) since 2015, but have not seen any major difference in the situation. The property prices in the area are also going down because of the issue.”
However, MPCB has said the smell that has been creating havoc for the residents is not just the industrial effluent or emissions but also that of the raw material.
Kishor Kerlikar, MIDC sub-regional officer, said, “We are continuously addressing the complaints and are also visiting the locations to find any kind of illegal dumping or emission. We are also planning to identify four locations in the MIDC area from where continuous monitoring can be done. A few days back, during a midnight visit, we found two production units emitting strong odour as they used state fish as raw materials. The units were told to use de-odourisation system that they did not have, and hence we issued closure direction.”
MIDC was established in 1970 and the area developed without any buffer area. Kerlikar added, “Ideally, there should have been a patch of dense trees as a buffer zone before the residential complexes start. This was not made and that is the main problem why residents are facing strong odour from the MIDC area. Of the 937 industries, not all are chemical industries, and 229 of them generate industrial effluents.”
Kerlikar added that in a week, MIDC would be finalising four places to install ambient air quality monitoring system to keep a track of pollution.