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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

MPCB issues closure notice to seven polluting industries at Taloja

navi mumbai  Updated: Oct 18, 2019 00:37 IST
Hindustantimes
         

The Maharashtra pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued closure notices to seven industries at Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Taloja after people complained about foul smell and untreated effluents discharged into Kasadi river.

The closure notice to the industries were issued in past one week after a joint inspection was carried out by MPCB and MIDC officials.

Anant Harshvardhan, regional officer MPCB, Navi Mumbai, said, “The closure notices have been issued to manufacturing units and the reason is noncompliance of the directives given by MIDC and MPCB for releasing chemicals.”

A case against the pollution caused by factories in Taloja is with National Green Tribunal (NGT) since 2017.

Activist and Taloja corporator Arvind Mahatre had filed the case with NGT. “There has not been much respite for past one week. Residents had complained of dizziness, nausea. I complained to MPCB and asked them to take measures to curb pollution.”

“An immediate closure notice has been issued but the smell is still in the air which has worsened,” said Mahatre.

He said that the MPCB only gives closure notices instead of show-cause notices to industries. “Hence, we cannot see any difference. There is no change in pollution,” he said.

Since September, 50% water cut has been imposed on major industries.

Rajesh Zanzad, nodal officer MIDC, said, “We inspected the industries and seven of them didn’t adhere to the guidelines given to them, resulting in increased pollution. They have been shut till further notice.”

The areas around MIDC have been facing pollution issues for years. The locals have regularly complained about the issue but not much has been done to resolve the problem.

There are 12 villages around Taloja which are directly affected by the polluting industries. Areas such as Kharghar, Panvel Roadpali and Kamothe too are affected.

Siddhesh Patil, 40, a Taloja resident, said, “Closure notices to industries are issued now and then but we cannot see a positive change. We still get a foul smell. We don’t want officials to take steps to pacify us rather they should come up with a permanent solution.”

Satish Shetty, president of Taloja Industries Association, said, “It is MPCB which is at fault. I blame them for not making industries adhere to the guidelines. The closure notices are just an eyewash. Within two days, the industries will start functioning.”

“MPCB is a regulatory body. It cannot be lenient with industries. It is because of a handful of industries the entire industrial unit suffers. The solution could have been to ensure that defaulter industry starts operations only after it meet the guidelines,” said Shetty.

The MIDC is upgrading the three-star common effluent treatment plant (CETP) to a five-star. The CETP plant will be ready in two months.

A MIDC official said, “The work to upgrade the CETP plant is in the final stage. It will reduce pollution to a great extent.”