Mumbai: Illegal goldsmith units to face police action, says BMC

May 18, 2018, 07:19 IST | Laxman Singh

Civic body has promised to inform labour commissioner about the matter

(Clockwise from above) Jewellery-making units in Kalbadevi
(Clockwise from above) Jewellery-making units in Kalbadevi

The woes of the residents of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar doesn't seem to end, as not much has been done by the authorities to do away with the jewellery making units in the area, that have made their lives hell. A week after Vijay Balamvar, deputy municipal commissioner of zone-I promised to look into the matter, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that they would inform the labour commissioner about it.

The civic body has also asked the local ward officials to take action with the help of the police against the units, which have installed chimneys even after being demolished, under The Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP) 1966.

Speaking to mid-day, Harkishan Garodiya, a Bhuleshwar resident, who had earlier sent a complaint to the chief minister regarding the toxic fumes that emanate from the chimneys installed in these units, said, "In most of the units, work goes on for 24 hours. The labourers use acids in the jewellery making process. These units don't take the labour laws seriously. As the people working there come from poor financial backgrounds, most of the times they do as told. Hence, often they end up working at night as well."

He further said, "The deputy municipal commissioner has promised that action would be taken against repeat offenders under the MRTP Act. Even FIRs will be registered against them."

When contacted, a C-ward official said, "The civic body will write about the matter to the labour commissioner. Earlier, when the license department was taking action against the units, some of the owners and labourers ran away after shutting shop.

But now we'll take help from the police and break into the units to seize the illegal cylinders, acid and other items."

Fighting for years
The Bhuleshwar and Kalbadevi residents have been fighting for a solution to this problem for years. Many of them have even faced health complications because of the toxic gases that emanate from the chimneys. In January, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised to relocate the units to a commercial area, but nothing much has been done in this regard.

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