Navi Mumbai: Concerned by the deteriorating air quality due to dust and carbon monoxide, environmentalists have reached out to the State Human Rights Commission in pursuit of justice. Over the past two weeks, the air quality has significantly declined and poses health risks in Navi Mumbai.
Additionally, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has issued penalty notices to two redevelopment projects in Vashi for contributing to the dust pollution in the atmosphere.
Current AQI situation raises concerns
The worsening Air Quality Index (AQI), aggravated by industrial and automotive emissions of carbon monoxide, is a matter of grave concern. It has a detrimental impact on public health, as stated by B.N. Kumar, Director of the NatConnect Foundation, in his complaint to the HRC.
"The concerned authorities, unfortunately, appear disinterested," he lamented.
The situation is exceptionally distressing, as people are compelled to inhale substantial amounts of dust and carbon monoxide, as highlighted in the complaint to the HRC.
NMMC issues notice to builders
Data from websites like www.aqi.in indicates that the Air Quality Index (AQI) has consistently exceeded the WHO limit of 50, reaching levels as high as 400 in certain areas, according to NatConnect.
In the meantime, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has issued notices to builders, imposing penalties for their "breach" of dust mitigation measures. These notices were issued by Shirish Aradwad, Additional City Engineer-Environment, at the NMMC.
The municipal body imposed a fine of ₹1,11,220 on Arihant-Advika, currently redeveloping JN-type buildings with multi-storied structures in Sector-9, Vashi. Additionally, a penalty of ₹51,150 was applied to Mistri Instruments for violations at its site in Sector-2, Vashi. They were fined ₹10 per sq meter area of the construction.
The notices highlighted that the builders were in breach of regulations on five different counts. High levels of dust were observed at the construction sites, and there was a deficiency in adequately misting water sprays. Furthermore, construction materials were left uncovered without tarpaulin.
Residents, particularly in Sector 9, have been persistently reporting issues related to dust, noise pollution, and unauthorized blasting at certain redevelopment sites.
NatConnect highlighted the issue of debris at sites
NatConnect previously raised concerns with the Municipal Commissioner in May regarding substantial mounds of excavated material at some sites. These mounds could potentially obstruct the city's stormwater drains in the event of rain. Consequently, the commissioner instructed his teams to take immediate action to ensure the prompt removal of debris before the onset of the monsoon.
In his complaint to the SHRC, Kumar emphasized the urgency of addressing the situation in Uran, which currently tops the charts for exceptionally high AQI levels. This is primarily due to unregulated construction, the absence of dust mitigation measures, quarrying, and frequent blasting in the area.