A ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plant near Aarey Milk Colony in suburban Mumbai was shut down by the pollution control board after complaints that it was polluting the area with cement dust.
The plant on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Andheri (East) was dismantled. A group, Watchdog Foundation, had alleged that the plant was causing air pollution in a radius of 500 metres and was affecting plant and animal life in the area around Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey.
“Following a newspaper report in May, our sub-regional officers carried out an investigation of the plant,” said MR Lad, Regional Officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). “We found that the dust separation and control systems were not in place. After repeated notices, the plant failed to comply with our directives and we were forced to shut it down.”
According to MPCB guidelines, RMC plants must create a 100-m buffer zone from residential areas and arterial roads. But most facilities do not follow this rule. In February this year, state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam raised the issue of pollution caused by cement dust from RMC plants in the state legislative assembly. He asked MPCB to investigate the problem and the board ordered the shutting down of 32 ready-mix concrete (RMC) plants found to be flouting pollution-control rules.