The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has recently issued closure notices to 100 industrial units along the Mithi river for releasing pollutants into the water bodies. Level of water in the Mithi river, choked by effluents from illegal, small industries that have come up along the CST road at Kurla and other areas along the banks, rose to 4.5 metre on Friday afternoon, just 0.2 metre below the ‘danger mark’.
Just before the monsoon set in the city in June, MPCB issued notices to 97 units along the river. Of these, 68 units were within 30 metre from both banks of the river, and 29 units were situated more than 30 metre away. According to MPCB officials, these units were issued notices because the units released untreated water into the river. The directions issued to the industries situated more than 30 meters distance was due to them not obtaining MPCB consent to operate.
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“Reliance is in process of disconnection of electrical supply to these units,” said Dilip Khedkar, regional officer (Mumbai), MPCB.
The17.8 km-long Mithi river originates from the overflow of both Vihar and Powai lakes. The river is supposed to serve as a natural drainage channel that carries excess water during monsoons. It flows through Powai, Saki Naka, Kurla, Kalina, Vakola, Bandra-Kurla complex, Dharavi and Mahim before it meets the Arabian Sea at the Mahim Creek.
In October 2013, the Nation Green Tribunal had ordered all 239 ‘polluting’ industries on the banks to be shut. It originates from the overflow of both Vihar and Powai lakes. It flows for around 17.8 km through Powai, Saki Naka, Kurla, Kalina, Vakola, Bandra-Kurla complex, Dharavi and Mahim before it meets the Arabian Sea at the Mahim Creek.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court had, in March, vacated its interim stay on closure notices issued against 49 units along the Mithi river. The MPCB is yet to re-issue closure notices to these units. After these units were first issued closure notices last year for operating without MPCB consent, they approached the Bombay High Court, which had given an interim stay. The HC in March found that none of the petitioning units had obtained permission from MPCB and therefore, the stay is vacated. “We are in the process of re-issuing closure notices to these units,” said Khedkar.