Navi Mumbai: Responding to complaints from environmentalists regarding the discharge of untreated sewage from Ghansoli STP into Thane Creek, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has instructed the Urban Development Department to investigate the matter.
B N Kumar, director of the NatConnect Foundation, expressed his concerns in an email to the Chief Minister. He raised an alarm over the closure of the 37 million-liter-a-day (MLD) sewage treatment plant in the rapidly developing Ghansoli area due to a land dispute on which the facility was constructed.
CM takes prompt action
As reported by FPJ on Oct 24, this has resulted in untreated sewage directly flowing into Thane Creek, posing significant threats to the local biodiversity and environment. The plant operates intermittently and often allows the untreated water to enter the creek, according to local residents.
Confirming these developments, sources at the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) stated that a resident of Ghansoli village, Kanha Patil, objected to the plant's location on his plot in sector-15, Ghansoli, claiming that CIDCO had not acquired the land. In pursuit of adequate compensation, Patil, along with other individuals, forcibly shut down the sewage treatment plant.
In response to NatConnect's complaint, the Chief Minister’s Office has tasked Aseem Gupta, Principal Secretary of the Urban Development Department-1, responsible for CIDCO and NMMC. While the NMMC received police assistance to reopen the plant for a brief period, it has remained closed for over a week.
Sanjay Desai, the city engineer of NMMC, stated that the municipal body is collaborating with CIDCO to resolve the dispute.
NatConnect raised issue about untreated toxic sewage
NatConnect has expressed deep concern about the untreated toxic sewage flowing into the creek, warning of grave dangers to the fish, crabs, and the overall marine biodiversity. This situation may have far-reaching consequences on the health of individuals who consume fish and crabs caught in the creek. Furthermore, the untreated sewage stored in tanks poses health risks to the public, according to Kumar.
Nandakumar Pawar, the head of Sagarshakti, the marine division of the NGO Vanashakti, highlighted the detrimental impact of untreated sewage on the flora and fauna in the creek. He also noted that sewage flows directly into the creek from multiple points in Mumbai. Unfortunately, authorities have yet to take action on these complaints, he lamented.
Ghansoli STP vegetation | FPJ
Ghansoli STP treated water carrying channels dry | FPJ