Application to challenge environmental and ecological degradation of the water bodies in Tarapur MIDC
Akhil Bharatiya Mangela Samaj & Ors. vs. Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board & Ors. (Original Application No. 64 of 2016) Synopsis- This Application was filed before the National Green Tribunal, Western Zone Bench (Pune) to challenge the severe environmental and ecological degradation of the waterbodies in the vicinity of the Tarapur MIDC, and flagrant violation of various rules and provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The Applicants are fishermen that reside in the area. It was submitted that this has been caused by untreated sewage and industrial effluent being discharged into the waterbodies by the industries in the MIDC, Tarapur as well as unauthorised amounts of effluent, far above what has been permitted by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, being released into the Arabian Sea at Navapur and the water bodies in the vicinity of the Tarapur MIDC from the Common Effluent Treatment Plant. This has resultantly impacted the livelihood of the traditional fisherfolk and the health of the people that live around the said area. The inadequate treatment given by the industries and problems of leakages from the collection network have resulted in regular discharge of industrial effluent in the water bodies thereby causing severe degradation of the aquatic ecology. These affected water bodies include Murbe creek running through Murbe till Mahagaon, Murbe-Satpati creek and the Navapur-Dandi creek. The villages affected include Tarapur, Kamboda, Ghivali, Uchchheli, Dandi, Navapur, Alevadi, Murabe, Kharekuran, Satapati, Shirganv, Wadarai, Tembi, Dadara, Mahim and Kelave. Status- The matter has been placed for final hearing in July, 2017. Description- The Government of Maharashtra established the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Tarapur in the year 1972. The Tarapur MIDC has a long history of being one of the most polluted industrial areas in the country ever since it began functioning in 1972, showing flagrant violations of prescribed norms. A Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) with a capacity of 20 MLD was set up in the area in 2006. The said capacity was subsequently enhanced to 25 MLD in 2009. The 59 kilometer effluent carrying pipeline runs throughout the industrial area to dispose treated/partially treated effluent to Arabian Sea at Navapur which is about 8 km away from MIDC. The total generation of industrial effluent from Tarapur industrial area is around 33 million litres per day (MLD) as against the capacity of 25 MLD. Untreated effluent from the CETPS was being disposed off into the Navapur creek. Due to several leakages in the effluent carrying pipeline, effluent was being released into the nullahs and creeks in the area. In September, 2016, after taking note of the alarming situation, the NGT passed several directions aimed at remedying the situation, most significant of which was the directions to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board not to grant any fresh consent to establish or expansion of any industries in the area until further orders. A direction was also given to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to ensure that the waste generated by the industries was reduced by 40%. Further readings-
- 17 MIDC Units ordered to shut shop for flouting pollution norms- http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumbai/other/17-midc-units-ordered-to-shut-shop-for-flouting-pollution-norms/articleshow/57228255.cms
- MPCB issues closure notices to 3 units from Tarapur MIDC- http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mpcb-issues-closure-notice-for-3-units-from-tarapur-midc/1/787022.html
- Fact-finding report submitted by the committee appointed by the NGT
- Tarapur Environment Protection Society (the society running the CETP) was directed to ensure forthwith that the treatment of the effluent was done in accordance with the parameters and standards prescribed.
- The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) was directed not to grant any fresh Consent to Establish to any industries in the area
- A fact- finding committee was directed to be set up consisting of the CEO, Zilla Parishad, Palghar, the District Health Officer, Tehsildar and officials from the department of Women and Child Welfare and Department of Fisheries, to inspect the area of Tarapur to conduct a fact finding on the adverse impact on the environment and the health of the local residents.
- MPCB and MIDC were directed to ensure that waste generated by the industries is reduced by 40%.
- It was directed that there shall be no discharge of effluent in other areas except in designated locations.