Navi Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Thane district collector to check the complaints of rising air pollution in Navi Mumbai that has irked health-conscious morning and evening walkers. Navi Mumbai's air quality index (AQI) was very poor at 336 on Wednesday morning.
Responding to environment-focused NGO NatConnect Foundation’s email, the CM specifically asked the collector of Thane to look into the issue. Even as Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has promised to take up the issue with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
NMMC to issue notices to builders
NMMC will also serve notices on builders and construction contractors to take care of dust blowing into the air, additional city engineer (Environment) Shirish Aradwad said.
NatConnect demanded that the civic body impose exemplary punishments and fines on erring builders since the NMMC had already served these notices last winter following a series of complaints.
Reckless digging, blasting, and even careless transportation of construction material by open rucks are all contributing to the menace and resulting in PM2.5 and PM 10 (particulate matter) levels remaining way beyond the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed norms, NatConnect director B N Kumar said.
Residents from Sector 9 where massive redevelopment of dilapidated JN Type buildings is in progress said the builders were blasting rocks as pile foundations progressed. "It is a double whammy for us with noise and air pollution," a resident said.
Uran continues to top the all-India pollution chart for several days now and even at midday on Wednesday it ranked 4 and poor at 200. PM10 was 121 and carbon monoxide 1,233.
Morning walkers complain of poor AQI
Many health-conscious morning walkers complained that they are hesitant to venture out into the polluted air. Even the evening walks have become very irritating due to the strong chemical stink that fills the air from Ghansoli to Sanpada and beyond.
A group of Kopar Khairane residents threatened to go on a sit-in strike (dharna) to protest against the nauseating air pollution, but an MPCB officer said it did not find any signs of pollution.
The Board official found that some tankers carrying benzene were leaking. Activist Chaya Taralekar complained of brick kiln smoke filling the air at Kharghar.