Environmentalists have warned against massive floods in the city in case there is heavy rainfall during the monsoon as heaps of construction debris have piled up in several redevelopment projects sites.
“Just one good shower and all the desilting done with lakhs of rupees from honest taxpayers’ money will literally go down the drain that will be blocked by the slush and rubble,” NatConnect director B N Kumar said. He added that he has already informed the concerned agencies by tweeting about the impending danger.
“This is a shocking state of affairs as we do not see any semblance of debris clearance,” he said, posting pictures of a project in Sector-9 of Vashi. “It will take more than a week to clean the place even if the developer and his contractors start the work today,” Kumar pointed out.
NMMC planning department ought to have taken this debris issue into consideration before issuing commencement certificates, Kumar said in his mail to the civic administration. The debris removal should have been part of the pre-monsoon work which was scheduled to be completed by May 31, he said.
The JN-type buildings in sectors 9 and 10 constructed by CIDCO during the mid-1980s have long ago been declared unfit for human habitation by IIT. The standard of construction was so poor, that the buildings started developing cracks and plasters from the ceilings began falling within ten years, Kumar, a longtime resident of Navi Mumbai, said.
Now the redevelopment debris is creating another crisis for the so-called planned city, he regretted.
NatConnect also expressed its serious concerns over the disposal of debris which is not being done in a responsible manner. Most of the debris from the city's projects is now landing on wetlands and mangroves, particularly at Kharghar, the not-for-profit outfit said.
Kharghar-based activists Naresh Chandra Singh and Jyoti Nadkarni have already raised alarm several times against the node turning into a destination for debris instead of exotic native and migratory birds. “Bird-watchers have now become debris watchers,” Singh quipped, blaming officials for their inaction despite a series of complaints.
NatConnect has already lodged a complaint with the High Court-appointed Wetlands Committee against environmental destruction.