The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to test if the refineries in suburban Mahul near Trombay has made the air there too polluted for the people to live in the area. A bench of justices A S Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi gave the direction earlier this week on complaints of people who are to be rehabilitated in Mahul after demolition of their houses along water pipelines in suburban Tilak Nagar.
The people to be rehabilitated in Mahul made the complaint during the hearing of a plea by NGO Janhit Manch seeking removal of the encroachments along all major water pipelines of the city due to the security threat and the risk of contamination of the water owing to habitations in their vicinity.
The people through their counsel conveyed to the court that the building’s in which they are to rehabilitated are surrounded by refineries emitting noxious fumes round the clock rendering the area unlivable. The bench was told the area was unsafe to live in and several people who have shifted there are complaining of respiratory problems. The court took serious note of the issue and directed the MPCB to conduct survey of the area and file a report within four weeks.
The court, in 2009, had directed the BMC to demolish all encroachments within a 10-meter radius on the city’s pipelines. It had also asked the Corporation to create a buffer zone between the pipelines and habitations around them. Residents of the shanties that were demolished in Tilak Nagar were given transit accommodation in Mahul by the civic body.