THE CONTRACTORS of Package I of the Metro 3 corridor are allegedly dumping the muck brought out after tunneling to level a low-lying land in Wadala after the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) granted them permission for the same.
Environmentalists have raised concerns that this violates the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and can cause flooding in the area. The 7,371-sq m land has been allotted to the contractor, L&T-STEC JV, on a temporary basis for three months at a rent of Re 1 per sq m per month. Situated at Mauje Anik, this allows the contractor to fill and compact the land with excavated material like rock and soil. “This permission is given only for filling and compacting the low lying area in the above mentioned land with the excavated material like rock and soil from Package I work,” reads the permission letter granted by MMRC. The trustee of the dargah, Jamal Hussain Khan, said that contractor is also dumping concrete while the permission letter clearly denies it permission to dump concrete on the land.
“They began dumping since Sunday. They brought 10 dumpers of excavated material and two of them contained concrete. If they dump mud like this on the land, the sea water will flood the adjoining areas and also enter our dargah,” said Khan. Activist Zoru Bhatena has written to the environment secretary and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. “The land has been allotted to MMRCL for temporary use but how can dumping activity be temporary? The CRZ norms prohibits land reclamation, bunding or disturbing the natural course of sea water and dumping of city waste, including construction debris for the purpose of land filling within CRZ areas. Any form of activity in CRZ, no development zones needs the approval of MCZMA (Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority). It is clear that the dumping work in the said plot in unlawful and is in fact a prohibited activity,” said Bhatena. Despite repeated attempts, MMRC officials refused to comment on the matter.