Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis instructed the gold manufacturing units in Bhuleshwar and Zaveri Bazaar to demolish the illegal toxic chimneys of gold manufacturing units in January. The BMC claimed they immediately began to act on a war footing to demolish the polluting chimneys. However, local residents, who have been fighting against the toxic illegal chimneys since last few decades, claimed the BMC was acting slowly, contrary to its claims.
Jeevak Ghegadmal, the Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Bhuleshwar ward stated, “As per the previous year January month’s survey, it was found that there are around 750 goldsmith manufacturing unit chimneys remaining in Bhuleshwar. Out of which 65 have been demolished in January 2018 itself. Therefore, a total of 700 chimneys are remaining, which will be demolished by March, the set target.”
Earlier, there were 2,000 gold manufacturing units chimneys, however, after various action have been initiated by the civic corporation 1,300 chimneys been demolished.
On the contrary, Vijay Shah, local resident who has been on the forefront of the fight and an active member of Bhuleshwar resident association, said though BMC is demolishing chimneys, the gold manufacturing unit owners install a new chimney the very next day. While AC Ghegadmal claimed that repeated action would control these.
The residents living near gold melting, polishing units in Mumbai’s jewellery hub have been suffering from asthma, bronchitis and restrictive lung disease due to the toxic fumes emitting from these factory chimneys. A local, Harikishan Garodia, had met the CM to discuss the issue during a public grievance redressal meeting held in January.