After the residents of Kharghar, Taloja and Panvel intensified their protest against pollution, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has started taking steps to curb pollution.
On February 27, around 200 people protested against the MPCB for not taking action against pollution.
The protest was carried under the aegis of Kharghar Taloja Colonies Resident’s Welfare Association (KTC-WA). MPCB had promised action before March 5.
MPCB, in its letter, has asked the Panvel tehsildar to take immediate action on the brick kilns functioning in the area. A detailed list of brick kiln owners and their locations has been given to the tehsildar. An official from Panvel tehsildar office confirmed that they have received the order from MPCB.
The tehsildar has also issued an internal order, giving names of officers and their duty hours to help residents lodge pollution-related complaints.
DB Patil, regional officer MPCB, said, “Two important orders have been issued to ensure that steps are taken to curb pollution. While we have asked the Panvel tehsildar to take action against brick kilns, numbers and details of MPCB officials have also been issued so that it is easy for people to register a complaint.”
Mangesh Ranawade, president of KTC-WA, said brick kilns too are responsible for air pollution. “However, we are still waiting for the guidelines on chemical stench.”
Brick kilns are functional at Taloja, Kharghar and Kamothe. Some brick kilns were shut by former civic commissioner Sudhakar Shinde, who took charge of Panvel City Municipal Corporation in 2016.
After residents’ complaints, Shinde ensured that brick kilns causing pollution were shut. A year later, the brick kilns are back into doing business but no action has been taken. “Our major problem is the stench in the air,” said Jaya Deo, 37, a resident of Kharghar’s Sector 35.
Residents have been facing health issues as they have been breathing polluted air for years.
Nilima Wadhe, a Kharghar-based pulmonologist, said, “Inhaling chemicals can lead to nausea, irritation and loss of concentration. The brick dust along with silica, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide can lead to chronic respiratory problems and skin allergy.”