Mumbai: Taking note of the environmental impact of the functioning of Ready Mix Cement Concrete (RMCC) plants, the Bombay High Court has ordered the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to act against such illegal and unauthorised plants. The court has also ordered the civic body to file an affidavit, spelling out the action taken against such RMCC plants.
A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmdhikari and Riyaz Chagla has also ordered the TMC to refrain from issuing fresh licences for any such plant which will function within residential or green zones, until the affidavit is filed.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ajay Joshi, highlighting the rampant setting up of illegal RMCC plants within green and residential zones in Thane.
During the course of the hearing, the bench came across an earlier affidavit, wherein the TMC had stated that it was making efforts to ensure that no unauthorised RMCC plant was functional in residential and green zones.
However, the bench seemed to be unimpressed with the affidavit and accordingly summoned the executive engineer, town planning department, TMC, to remain present before it on January 8.
“We want the officer to come with all the original records, as we would like to satisfy our conscience, particularly with regard to the correctness of the statement that actions have been taken against illegal and unauthorised RMCC plants and the same will continue,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.
The bench further referred to an order passed in January 2014, which had restrained the TMC from issuing fresh licences to RMCC plants in green and residential zones. The civic body was also ordered then, to ascertain whether allowing such plants to function in public zones would constitute a violation of the provisions of Air Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act, 1981.
In 2014, another HC bench hearing the matter had noted that there was no data or report to show the action taken by the TMC.
“It is in these circumstances that we would like the executive engineer to remain present on January 8, with all original records,” Justice Dharmadhikari added.