Residents of Mahul, an area declared ‘unfit for human habitation’ by the National Green Tribunal in 2015, have been complaining of a strange pungent smell and severe chest pain due to this. Local residents and have already reported the matter to MPCB and have also written a letter via an email to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"The residents had first sent an e-mail to the CM's office and to MPCB on June 1,2020 and also marked the copy of the email to environment secretary Anil Diggikar. The CMO replied to the email stating that the letter has been forwarded to the concerned department for further action. However, we are yet to get any response on the same," said Bilal Khan, a social activist of Ghar Banao, Ghar Bachao Andolan, which has been at the forefront in the fight of Mahul residents seeking safe homes.
The resident in his letter to the CMO stated: "Till date, Mahul Koliwada has detected around 23 positive coronavirus patients and has seen more than four deaths due to covid 19. There are many who have been quarantined in the Mahul village itself. And the pollution could have a severe impact on these victims as well as other residents." The letter further sought to immediately restrict the operations of companies nearby thus stopping the chemical pollution in the village.
"This seems like a toxic chemical leakage, causing air pollution and thus critically affecting the health of residents. The authorities just don’t care for the lives of the poor. We have got so many orders from the High Court directing them to shift us out because we are falling sick. And now this foul, acidic smell is deteriorating our health even more. Many residents have complained of chest pain and other health issues.Sadly there has been no response from the authorities so far." said a Mahul resident.
Residents once again wrote to authorities including CMO on June 2 seeking intervention. The letter states that several villagers from Mahul had contacted the MPCB official seeking help. The residents have demanded that a team from MPCB must visit the location and investigate the matter at the earliest and provide them with the field visit and action-taken reports.
MPCB officials could not be reached.
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