While citizens in and around Kharghar-Taloja-Panvel belt are regularly complaining about the deteriorating air quality as well as the health implications of breathing this toxic air, Waatavaran an organisation based in Navi Mumbai has written to Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) seeking an action agenda for improving the air quality in Panvel region by setting up of a Clean Air Action Plan as well as installing air quality monitoring stations.
Local residents have been stating that air pollution is on the rise as companies in the industrial belt under the PMC, Taloja MIDC, are violating the rules. Inhaling foul-smelling and suffocating toxic gases has created serious health problems for the people of the area.
Last month, the MPCB had shut down three industrial units after a local corporator had given a written complaint. However, residents feel a lot needs to be done to improve the condition.
Bhagwan Kesbhat, Founder of Waatavaran Foundation has sent a letter to Sudhakar Deshmukh, Commissioner of PMC, calling for the installation of air quality measuring and testing stations in the area to understand the gravity of the problem and to make aware citizens of Navi Mumbai.
“Tackling this health hazard will require collective and collaborative efforts and we are happy to work with the administration. We would like to state that this is a health emergency situation, which cannot be ignored as we all including our children are breathing this toxic air,” stated Kesbhat.
He also informed that the suffering of people of Navi Mumbai including Panvel and other areas due to air pollution cannot be taken lightly as even the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has accepted international studies showing a correlation between Covid-19 related mortalities and air pollution.
With the lockdown rules now relaxed, residents in the Kharghar-Taloja-Panvel region under the PMC are once again facing severe health issues due to elevated levels of pollutants in the air. “The industries in the Taloja MIDC belt are the major contributors to air pollution in the area, releasing toxic gases with a foul and pungent smell. Clean air is a basic fundamental right of every individual,” said Kesbhat.
When FPJ contacted the municipal commissioner Deshmukh, he said that though the pollution issues do not fall under the body’s jurisdiction, he will call a meeting to listen to them. “The industrial pollution is not the subject of the civic body. But we will the NGO people to listen to them,” said Deshmukh.