Levels of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) near the rock crushing and asphalt units that operate in close proximity to apartment complexes in Thakur Village, Kandivali (East) are three times the permissible standards set up by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), its report has found.
Following a report by Newsline, MPCB officials visited the site in the first week of March and took readings, and have subsequently issued notices to the units. The officials found that the units ‘did not have adequate air pollution controlling systems’.
These buildings abutting the Sanjay Gandhi National Park stand barely 50 metres away from freshly quarried hills and stone-crusher plants as well as asphalt plants.
There were 11 stone crushers and two functional bitumen plants along the hills at Thakur Village.
RSPM levels measured near the plant, near a club house and near the Suncity apartment complex were 282, 161 and 336 microgrammes per cubic metres, stated the report. The MPCB standard permissible limits for RSPM for the city is 100 microgrammes per cubic metres.
Newsline had on March 2 reported that more than 1,000 residents of the NG Suncity Phase 3 and Bhoomi Valley buildings in Kandivali’s plush Thakur Village area were inhaling thick black smoke from the chimneys of rock crushing units and asphalt plants in their vicinity.
“RSPM levels are on the higher side at different locations at the site. Prima facie, it seems that there might be chances of air pollution because of suspended particles. We have already issued notices and will verify in 10 days if the units have complied with the conditions laid down.
If non-compliance is found, stringent action will be taken,” said Amar Durgule, Regional Officer, MPCB. He added the pollution can also be attributed to the construction activity, wind direction driving the soil off the ground.
When residents tried to complain to the civic ward, BMC officials said their hands are tied as the units have the requisite permissions from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and their complaint to MPCB elicited no action.