Mumbai: Metro III debris being dumped at eco-sensitive stretch in Anik
Activist complains to environment ministry about MMRC allegedly filling up low-lying No-Development Zone near Wadala with muck from the ongoing Metro construction
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) has landed itself in another controversy. Activists and locals have alleged that the authority is illegally dumping muck on a low-lying open plot, which comes under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ-2) and No-Development Zone (NDZ), in Anik.
Activist Zoru Bhathena filed a complaint (on May 29) with the secretary of the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and collector, pointing that for any activity in CRZ and NDZ, prior NOC is needed from MoEF.
Zoru Bhathena says barricading and filling work is on in the low-lying area of the plot
Dumping for land filling
Bhathena said, "The CRZ notification prohibits land reclamation, bunding or disturbing the natural course of sea water within CRZ areas. It also prohibits dumping of city waste including construction debris for the purpose of land filling within CRZ areas. It is clearly seen that lot of muck removed from Metro III line tunnelling work is dumped at the plot."
He added, "In 2015, this particular land, spread across 16.28 hectares, was handed over to MMRC from the Revenue and Forest department for five years to set up a casting yard for Metro III. In April 26 this year, MMRC allotted it to L&T for temporarily filling the low-lying areas of the plot. Photos taken on May 29 show barricading and filling work in the low-lying area of the plot."
Zoru Bhathena, activist
A trustee from a dargah which is close to the site, Jamal Khan alleged that, "The MMRC is illegally dumping muck on the plot. They started work around 10 days back. This dumping will lead to flooding in neighbouring areas including our dargah. Earlier also, during construction of the eastern free way, there was illegal dumping on this plot. They should stop the activity to avoid problems in monsoon."
Asked about the allegation and whether they had permission, an MMRC spokesperson said, "MMRCL being a responsible organisation, carries out all its activities including muck disposal in a legal manner. This is a baseless allegation".
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