Navi Mumbai: Residents of high-rise buildings along the creek at CBD Belapur continue to experience “earthquake-type tremours” due to high-intensity blasts at the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) site, prompting local residents and environmentalists to protest with a silent human chain on Sunday morning. The human chain will be formed along the walking track at Sector 15 in CBD-Belapur, said Rohit Agarwal, secretary of Arenja CHS.
According to NatConnect Foundation director BN Kumar, the human chain protest will be peaceful and silent, without any slogans. “Our silence will have to be heard loudly by the unconcerned authorities,” he said.
The blasts are heard late at night and the wee hours as far as Sanpada, claimed Mr Kumar. He added that apart from Arenja CHS, several housing complexes such as Sai Vihar and Belle Vista also reported disturbing sounds after high-intensity blasts at the airport under construction. “We have been complaining to several people including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief minister,” said CD Gupta from Belle Vista CHS.
According to Shubhangi Tirodkar who stays in Sector 15, the purpose of the silent human chain is to show solidarity and draw the attention of authorities to the fact that many buildings have developed cracks. “Even the windowpanes shatter every time there is a big blast,” she said.
Suryakant Pandey of Sai Vihar CHS said the blasts have caused cracks in his building as well. “The frequency of blasts is also quite disturbing,” he said.
Agarwal and Gupta, who announced plans of the human chain protest during Republic Day events in their respective housing societies said that the response was instantaneous and they expect a large number of people to join in.”
Former corporator Netra Shirke empathised with the residents and said the authorities ought to reduce the intensity of the blasts so there is no harm caused to either the buildings or the people living in them.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) responded to NatConnect complaints about the blasts and asked the Urban Development Department (UD) to check into the matter. “A mail in this regard has been sent to UD-1 principal secretary Bhushan Gagrani,” Mr Kumar said quoting the response by the CMO. Earlier, the chief minister had asked state aviation secretary Valsa Nair Singh to look into the complaints.
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