The future of nearly 15,000 people working at the 87 chemical units at MIDC, Ambernath, hangs in the balance even as the matter pertaining to high pollution levels in the industrial zone comes up for hearing before the National Green Tribunal Pune today.

On Friday, the NGT, while hearing the issue, was informed by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) about the action taken. The MPCB also spoke of the intervention by the Addition Ambernath Manufacturers’ Association (AAMA) in the matter. Umesh Tayade, President AAMA, said, “As MPCB requested for time to revert after going through the plea filed by us, the NGT has given it time until Monday. The NGT, however, gave MPCB standing instructions that power and water connections to these industrial units would not be disconnected till then.”

Explaining how things came to such a head, Tayade said, “We had spent more than R25 lakh to ensure that the CETP is made operational, and were in the process of making another collection of at least R1 crore to make the CETP fully operational, but all our efforts are in vain, as the CETP will be not fully functional until all the toxic sludge accumulated over 10 years is removed. Till then the pollution levels will be on the higher side. We can do nothing about it.”