The Pune bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Friday asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to serve a showcause notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not installing effluent treatment plants (ETPs) at various sources of pollution along the Mithi River.
Justice V R Kingaonkar, who was hearing a public interest litigation by NGO Jal Biradari to restore Mithi river, asked the MPCB why ETPs were not yet installed along the Mithi River. MPCB counsel D M Gupte told the tribunal the Board lacked the manpower and mandate to install the ETPs, which he pointed out was the duty of the municipal corporation.
The court then asked the MPCB to serve the showcause notice to the municipal corporation.
The MPCB also filed an affidavit stating that domestic units are major sources of pollution along the river, rather than industrial units. Based on site visits, the MPCB identified 1,238 units identified along the river, of which, 1,147 units were identified as are ‘non-polluting’ and 91 as ‘polluting’ units.
Meanwhile, the pollution control board is yet to come up with an action plan for pollution control along Mithi River. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which was supposed to submit an EIA report on the prospect of blasting the river bed, will be submitting its report on March 18.
The next hearing is scheduled on March 28.