BMC slammed for challenging Bombay HC order in Supreme Court

The level of benzene recorded is a maximum 250 micrograms per cubic metres.

Mumbai: Mahul residents have slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its decision to approach the Supreme Court after the Bombay high court ordered that they be shifted.

According to the BMC, recent readings of air pollution by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) show a lower level of pollutants but the residents claim that toxic pollutants still remain at higher levels and expert bodies have stated that Mahul is uninhabitable.

A BMC official said, “We have the latest reports of this year showing that the pollution level in Mahul and nearby areas is comparatively less than previous years. This indicates that the measures taken by the BMC to curb air pollution in Mahul have shown results. Based on this, we decided to approach the Supreme Court.”

The air quality assessment of Mahul and Trombay from April to September this year recently released by the MPCB — shows particulate matter like PM10, PM2.5, ammonia and nitrogen oxide within safe limits.

The MPCB report of 2018 reads, “Presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) is found in the area with concentration values more than odour threshold concentrations. Therefore, focus on control measures on dominant sources of emissions of VOCs is required in this case.”

According to activists however, the high level of VOCs in the MPCB report are dangerous for health.

Activist Bilal Khan, who is working for the rehabilitation of Mahul residents, said, “We do not understand on what basis the BMC is moving the SC. The MPCB’s latest data also shows that some industries have been emitting higher levels of benzene and sulphur dioxide that comes under VOCs. The level of benzene recorded is a maximum 250 micrograms per cubic metres. Also, there is no confirmation from the MPCB that overall pollution has decreased.”

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