The Mulund-Airoli Bridge Road is the latest place to become an illegal dump yard, with paver blocks, debris and other construction rubbish being dumped at the side of the road. While travelling from Airoli towards the Eastern Express Highway, after crossing the toll plaza, one can see mounds of paver blocks, debris and other construction material at the side of the road.
This all-important road is under the jurisdiction of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and is a part of the Airoli Bridge Project. It is the duty of the MSRDC to keep a tab on such activities and maintain the road.
A tea stall owner near the Eastern Express Highway said, “It’s very easy to just dump the waste, because there are no human settlements along the highway. It’s quite an isolated stretch. The dumping usually takes place in the night.” According to the owner, trucks arrive in the dead of night, unload the debris and drive away towards the highway.
What is more worrying is the fact that there are mangroves near the dumping spots, barely 50 metres away. A lack of check on the activities may result in the waste material slowly accumulating and creeping closer to the important mangroves. The Airoli Bridge Project (Mulund-Airoli Bridge Road) was initiated to give direct access from suburbs of Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. This link helped in proper dispersal of traffic and resulted in considerable savings in travel time and fuel cost.
Officials were clueless about the activity. N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, Mangroves cell, said, “I am not aware about this issue. I will ask the concerned officials from our cell to visit the location and inspect its condition.” MSRDC officials could not be reached for comment.