Mumbai: 'Protect' Uran's garbage pile, urge city's green activists

Updated: 16 August, 2020 07:33 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Tired that the authorities are not taking action against garbage dumps in Uran's mangroves, activists take a witty route

The dump in the middle of the mangroves
The dump in the middle of the mangroves

Upset about the fact that the authorities are yet to clear the 13-year-old garbage dump from the mangroves and wetlands at Bori Pakhadi in Uran, green groups have launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign calling upon the government to "protect the filth and punish the sea plants".

Navi Mumbai-based green activists are shocked that despite the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) asking the state and district authorities to take immediate action, nothing was done.

Debris at the site
Debris at the site

BN Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation, said, "Our complaint was closed down with the PMO comment that the officials have been asked to take immediate action," said Kumar. NatConnect sent another complaint a month ago, informing the PM that the Swachh Bharat campaign had gone down the drain, literally, in Uran, as the garbage kept mounting. Yet, there has been no action.

The locals have been fighting the garbage problem, along with activist Samir Ashrit, for 13 years now, also filing a complaint with the PM office. The PMO closed down the complaint after the Uran Municipal Council promised to dispose of the garbage properly.

Sewer water is being dumped at the Mangrove Zone in Uran
Sewer water is being dumped at the Mangrove Zone in Uran

"Even now, not a single inch of garbage has been removed. On the contrary, the filth is on the rise," said Ashrit.

According to the activists, Uran police filed an FIR against Uran Municipal Council officials under the Environment Act way back in January following a massive protest march by the residents of Bori Pakhadi and Hanuman Koliwada.

Activists alleged that the FIR apparently has remained on paper. Nandakumar Pawar of Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, said, "In Uran, we see a peculiar attitude on the part of the so-called authorities. Be it the planners or district and civic administration, nobody cares for the law."

Pawar also said that the Uran garbage is just one of the many issues. "But this impacts public health. Despite the need to maintain hygiene in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, no authority worth its name seems to care," Kumar said. "It is in this context, that we launched this campaign to 'protect the garbage and punish mangroves'," added Pawar.

Environmentalists recalled that the High Court Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee, too, has asked the Uran Municipal Council to remove the garbage from mangroves and asked CIDCO, which is the local planner, to find an alternative location for dumping the garbage.

Adding further, Pawar said, "Nobody cares for the age-old mangroves." Kumar also pointed out, "Garbage gets protection and mangroves die. The garbage dump, on an oil pipeline, is next to a valve installation.

The dump has been catching fire repeatedly, endangering the pipeline."

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First Published: 16 August, 2020 07:30 IST

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