While residents of Kharghar, Taloja, and Kalamboli complaint of breathing and other health-related problems due to air pollution from the industrial units in Taloja MIDC, the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) says that no large number of patients suffering from respiratory inflammation and asthma have been found due to air pollution in its jurisdiction.
Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur and Uran MLA Mahesh Baladi have drawn the attention of the government with a starred question regarding air pollution caused by companies in Taloja industrial area.
Thakur claimed that it has been observed that the toxic air released by the industrial units in Taloja Industrial area poses a threat to the health of the citizens. It is affecting the physical growth of children. “Despite the National Green Tribunal’s order to close the polluting factories, the erring industrial units are functioning and releasing toxic gases overnight,” said Thakur.
State Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray in his written reply to this question said that as per the letter of PMC on February 23, 2022, no large number of patients suffering from respiratory inflammation and asthma have been found due to air pollution.
Even the petition filed at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is mainly about the non-compliance of the standards in the consent letter issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to the common wastewater treatment plant in the Taloja Industrial area. The petition does not cover the issue of air pollution.
However, the minister admitted that the MPCB conducts night inspections in Taloja Industrial Area and takes regular action against the guilty factories. In the last one year, the MPCB has taken action against 13 industries. Of the 13 units, 6 industrial units were closed, one unit has been directed to close and, six others have been issued a show-cause notice.
Bhagwan Keshbhat, founder of Waatavaran Foundation, an NGO working on the environment says that the ground reality is very different. “Residents in Kharghar and Taloja cannot open their door and window after evening as senior members complaint of breathing problem,” said Keshbhat.