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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state our bodies to provide you with an motion plan to

cut back waste that affects mangrove forests and coastal wetlands alongside Mumbai.

NGT’s principal bench handed an order on Tuesday, which was revealed on Wednesday, directing the state to report on the extent of rubbish and develop a mitigation plan for its removing in six weeks.

“We direct the divisional forest officer of the area and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to submit the remedial measures which are required to be taken to solve the problem,” the order learn. The subsequent listening to date is scheduled on October 7.

The bench was listening to an utility by atmosphere group Vanashakti on coastal water air pollution and the affect of strong waste coming into the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS).

“If the matter is not addressed, TCFS and our mangrove forests will become garbage dumps very soon,” mentioned Stalin D, director, Vanashakti.

The mangrove cell below the forest division had knowledgeable the NGT throughout an earlier listening to that 8,000 tons of rubbish had been faraway from totally different mangrove forests in successive clean-up operations. The cell estimates Mumbai’s mangrove forests (6,600 hectares) have round 50,000 tons of plastic waste strewn on account of improper waste therapy.

“An action plan based on NGT’s orders will be prepared. We have already developed a strategy to tackle waste at TCFS under the sanctuary’s recently approved management plan,” mentioned Virendra Tiwari, extra principal chief conservator of forest (mangrove cell).

According to MPCB, creeks, rivers and the ocean alongside Mumbai’s 437.71 sq km coast is below risk from municipal waste together with plastic that’s straight discharged into nullahs. Untreated home waste accounts for 93% air pollution for these water our bodies, wetlands and mangrove areas, MPCB mentioned.

“Over 25% of total sewage (2,600 million litres per day) generated in Mumbai enters the sea without treatment. We have highlighted this to the NGT. While the forest department will develop the mitigation plan, it will be implemented by BMC, and monitored by us,” mentioned YB Sontakke, joint director (water high quality), MPCB. “Repeated reminders and directions for adequate waste management to BMC over the years have not been attended to.”

BMC denied MPCB’s submission whereas stating that Mumbai’s eight sewage therapy crops (STPs) at marine outfall and lagoons had been being upgraded as per the Centre’s newest norms. “Work at the Colaba STP has been completed. Tenders for six other STPs have been issued while one remaining will be completed within a month. It will take at least three years to enhance the treatment system. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, work slowed down. However, cognisance of previous NGT orders have been taken,” mentioned Atul Rao, chief engineer, BMC’s Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project.

Counsel for petitioners, Zaman Ali mentioned as per an Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay report Mumbai wanted 37 STPs for a long-lasting resolution to this air pollution. “MPCB had highlighted this to NGT. The bench during Tuesday’s hearing indicated that this needs to be considered in the remedial plan along with short-term and long-term measures,” he mentioned.

Stalin added, “Our suggestion before NGT for installing nets to strain solid waste from stormwater drains was accepted by state and Central agencies but the BMC has conveniently ignored it.”

Sanjay Sadashiv, under-secretary, state atmosphere division mentioned, “Making use of nets as suggested by petitioners can solve this crisis much faster. BMC is duty-bound to stop waste from entering the sea, and is currently not implementing the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006.”

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