The Ambernath citizens’ forum organised a protest march against the pollution spread by industries in the area. They also started a campaign called “Say No to Properties from Ambernath to Badlapur” claiming that the industries have made the entire area poisonous by polluting the air and water.
According to one of the members of Ambernath Citizens Forum, the fire in the chemical factory in Ambernath was a rude waking up for the authorities. “The railway had to suspend services for some hours as the smoke was so bad. No one should live like this. So, we started the petition warning other people from buying property here,” said Satyajit Burman member of the ACF.
“The areas from Ambernath to Badlapur are generally cheap property options for people who work in Mumbai. They spend their life savings on getting a house here, only to die slowly due to pollution,” Rinki Aneja, another resident and protester claimed. She added: “We have been trying to get the authorities, like the municipal corporation and the pollution control board to do something about this for years.”
According to Burman, the protest and campaign was to deter property buyers and also to take action against officials of the pollution control board. “Despite complaints of water pollution, they have done nothing and now, all our water sources are polluted. We cannot drink water, the air is full of fumes. Isn’t this the basic right of citizens?” Satyajit asked.
The pollution control board officials refused to comment on the protest. An officer said: “If there are concerns we will check. We are already looking into the fire and how to avoid it.”