Relief in the pipeline for Mahad villagers battling water and air pollution

Updated: Jan 19, 2018, 09:44 IST | Faisal Tandel

Even as industries minister Subhash Desai approves villagers' proposal for a new pipeline, residents say work should be expedited as the pollution has already ruined several lives

A delegation of Mahad villagers speaks to Minister for Industries and Mining Subhash Desai at his office in Mantralaya
A delegation of Mahad villagers speaks to Minister for Industries and Mining Subhash Desai at his office in Mantralaya

Villagers from Mahad, who have been battling serious health issues, with chemical waste from an old MIDC pipeline poisoning their water, food and air, might finally be able to breathe easy. A group, which recently met Minister for Industries and Mining Subhash Desai, seeking a green signal for a new pipeline, at a cost of Rs 71 crore to prevent future leaks, has got the nod for the project.

A fruitful meeting
On January 16 at 11 am, the villagers along with Shiv Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale met Desai at his office in Mantralaya, with Chairman of Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) Sambhaji Pathare, a few engineers and officers from MIDC and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board present for the meeting. Gogawale said, "After mid-day reported about the pollution, I personally visited the CETP site and kept a tab on the proper treatment and release of the chemical water. But the point remains that the main problem is that the pipeline is old and hence is causing pollution.

"We demanded funds for the new pipeline, which will help to plug the problem of leaks, and also compensation for the farmers and other villagers who have suffered due to the water pollution. Finally, we asked for action against authorities delaying the issue and neglecting the harm happening to the village. Desai sir gave a green signal and asked his officials to study the case and forward the papers to the department concerned, so that work on the new pipeline can start at the earliest."

Years or months?
Faisal Chandale, a villager and businessman, said, "Even though the minister has given a nod for the project, it will take more than a year or two to get the funds; first, the Mahapral-Pandharpur Road will have to be widened, which will take another couple of years, after that, it will take five years for the work to be completed. Our lands have become useless; we haven't been able to farm for the last 10 years. After the Mahad bridge collapsed in 2016, authorities built a new one in six months. They should follow the same procedure and complete it at the earliest. They should keep in mind the delay that has already happened and the number of people who have lost their lives because of the pollution." Despite repeated attempts, Desai remained unavailable for comment.

Rs 71cr Cost of the new pipeline

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