July 20, 2018 5:04:29 am
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to inspect the area around Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai that has been polluted due to illegal dumping of waste and sewage in the Arabian Sea.
Hearing an environment interest litigation (EIL) filed by a group of students from ILS Law College, Pune, the NGT bench of Justice S P Wangdi and expert member Nagin Nanda directed the MPCB to inspect the polluted area and verify the information stated by the applicants. “If it is found to be true, appropriate steps be taken for mitigation of the condition. The MBCB should submit a report on the action taken by August 24 (sic),” the bench stated.
“Meanwhile, the tribunal directed all the respondents, including Haji Ali Dargah Trust and other government agencies, to submit their response to the application,” said Asim Sarode, representing the applicants.
In January this year, a group of students of ILS Law College filed an EIL against the Haji Ali Dargah in Worli, Mumbai, for allegedly dumping waste into the Arabian Sea illegally.
The petition has been filed by Aamir Shaikh, Deepak Chatap, Vaishnav Ingole, Revati Bagade, Shraddha Savakhande and Rakesh Mali — all students of ILS Law College, who visited the Dargah recently and found the area unhealthy, dirty and unhygienic.
The petition mentions that various religious ceremonies are held at the dargah daily. This historical mausoleum is a renowned pilgrimage spot for scores of pilgrims who frequent the dargah. “Human waste being discharged from the toilets in the premises of the dargah goes straight into the Arabian sea on a daily basis. This effluent and discharge forms part of the same water in which children are witnessed playing, thereby being seriously deleterious to the health and safety of those visiting the dargah, in addition to damaging the marine life and ecology of the sea (sic),” the application stated.
There is no system in place to treat the sewage or ensure that it is not polluting the immediate surroundings, the application stated, while urging the tribunal to give directions to stop the release of excrement and sewage water into the sea from the toilets on the dargah premises.
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