Mumbai: The Chandivali residents are facing air pollution due to illegal operating furnaces in the small-scale industries on Kharani Road in Saka Naka. The BMC’s L ward had demolished around 13 illegal furnaces three weeks ago. However, some more have come up in the area causing serious health problems, complained citizens. Considering the health hazard due to smoke emitting from these illegal bhattis, the civic body has planned to take action against the menace after Diwali.
There are several small-scale manufacturing units which melt aluminium using wood and coal and operate without any pollution-control measures. Following the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) directives, the BMC sent notices to unauthorised factories. However, nothing has changed since such factories continued violations, adding to air pollution, the Chandivali complained further.
Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder member of the Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association (CCWA), said, “Residents of Khairani Road and Nahar have been suffering from allergies and other health ailments such as breathlessness and respiratory problems caused by these illegal furnaces. We have been sending our complaints to the BMC and MPCB and nothing will change by demolishing a few bhattis. Instead, the violators should be made to face prosecution.”
Earlier, under BMC Act sec 390, the civic body sent notices to 66 small-scale manufacturing units. Out of which 35 were demolished a few months back, while 12 of them locked their units on their own. On October 5, around 13 illegal operating furnaces were demolished and the company supplying electricity was informed to disconnect the supply to the units, said a civic source.
Dhanaji Hirlekar, assistant municipal commissioner of L ward said, “We have been regularly taking action on such units. We will need police protection while taking action. The next action will be taken after Diwali.”