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NMMC removes concrete blocks around 4,000 trees

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The Hindu        03.05.2017    

NMMC removes concrete blocks around 4,000 trees

Breathing space:Concrete blocks around trees in other nodes in Navi Mumbai will be removed within 10 days.File Photo  

Law prohibits construction within one-metre radius of trees

Fearing a notice from the National Green Tribunal, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has removed concrete structures within the one-metre radius of 4,000 trees on footpaths in eight nodes

Recorders from the city engineering department said as of April 28, around 4,000 trees between Vashi and Airoli were deconcretised. Concrete structures around trees in other nodes will be removed within 10 days.

Violation of NGT rules

Mohan Dagaonkar, City Engineer NMMC, “As National Green Tribunal rules prohibit construction within the one-metre radius of trees, we have started deconcretising trees on footpaths. The officials concerned in each ward have been asked to submit reports on completion of work. We have also left one-metre space around new saplings planted on stretches laid with paver blocks.” NGT guidelines state that a minimum area of 1.25 m x 1.25 m around the trees should not be cemented and roads should not be widened till the trunks of trees. Roots of trees planted on asphalted roads die gradually and increases the chances of trees toppling during a storm.

Arati Chauhan, a green activist from Nerul whose online petition drawing attention to the decreasing green cover in the city has been signed by 590 people, said, “It is heartening to see deconcretisation work has begun. Trees planted on roads are surrounded by tar and they should always be deconcretised.”


Air pollution complaints to BMC rose 63% in 2016

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The Times of India        13.04.2017  

Air pollution complaints to BMC rose 63% in 2016

Image used for representation.
MUMBAI: A 63% increase in the number of air pollution complaints received by the BMC was observed in 2016 compared to the previous year. In fact, in January and December 2016 the recorded Air Quality Index (AQI) was higher than in previous years. Incidentally, last January a fire broke out in the Deonar dumping ground which went on for almost a week.

A civic white paper released by the NGO Praja stated that in 2015, the BMC received 94 air pollution complaints while in 2016 it went up to 153. On the other hand, complaints registered owing to pollution due to chemical effluents in 2015 stood at 33, while in 2016 it went up to 51.

Milind Mhaske project director at the NGO Praja said, "These figures are from complaints made to BMC on their helpline 1916 and also those registered with them on their website. The figures clearly indicate people today are waking up to the problem of pollution and it's important the authorities take cognizance of it."

Neha Parkhi, programme officer from System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research project said, "Even we have started getting more queries on air pollution."

"Today, the situation is such that in case of a blaze at the dump, parts of the city far from the dump also get enveloped in smoke. The smell of garbage burning definitely does not go unnoticed," said Kala Suresh, who lives off the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road.

Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

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The Hindu      11.04.2017 

Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai on the list, says Dave

The average level of noise pollution generally exceeds permissible limits in seven Indian cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

According to Mr. Dave, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in association with its counterparts in every State, monitors noise pollution in seven metropolitan cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Hyderabad — through a network of 70 noise-monitoring stations under the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Programme (NANMP).

“The data from these monitoring stations indicate that average noise pollution levels generally exceed the permissible limits. This includes noise from vehicle horns,” said Mr. Dave.

Following standards

The noise standards for motor vehicles, air conditioners, refrigerators, gensets and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed in the Schedules of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Minister said.

He said that pressure horns (sirens and multi-tone horns) are banned except for police vans, ambulances and fire brigade vehicles under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Measures taken to reduce noise pollution in metropolitan cities include advisories for noise monitoring on the occasion of Diwali, prohibition of the use of fireworks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., awareness programmes to avoid bursting of firecrackers and issuing directions under relevant sections of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

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