Friday, March 22, 2019

Seminar on “Environmental Health of Navi Mumbai & Role of Stakeholders” organised by Navi Mumbai First Charitable Trust
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 1:45:42 AM - By News Bureau
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Rajesh Prajapati, President, Navi Mumbai First Charitable Trust
NAVI MUMBAI: The City’s environmental health of is set for a major improvement as Navi Mumbai and Panvel Municipal Corporations are working new Development Plans (DPs)

Participating in an Environment Day seminar on the Environmental Health of Navi Mumbai and Role of Stake Holders organised by Navi Mumbai First Charitable Trust on Tuesday evening, the speakers dealt with the city’s burning issues and focused on solutions.

Speaking in a panel discussion, Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Dr N Ramaswami said the civic body is working on a brand-new Development Plan, taking into consideration of the growing needs of the people. So far, NMMC has been depending on the DP drawn by CIDCO 25 years ago.

On air pollution, he said though the dust particle levels have come down with the reduction of Parsik Hill quarrying, NMMC will continuously monitor the situation with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. Solid waste and sewerage water management will be the main focus areas for the civic body. The two water treatment plants planned to be set up at Airoli and Kopar Khairane, 40 MLD of treated sewer water will be available for gardening, thus saving an equal quantity of precious drinking water. The corporation has recently acquired a 35 acre plot for its solid waste management project.
NMMC was able to achieve 85% success in segregation of dry and wet solid waste at source, namely homes, and it is now aiming to achieve 100%.

Former CIDCO MD G S Gill, who chaired the session, appreciated NMMC for working on sustainability by reusing, recycling and reducing the waste. The challenge for the city, as he saw, is not to stop urbanisation, but balance between urban development and administration.

Panvel Municipal Commissioner Gopal Deshmukh said he too is working on a DP for his city by involving all sections of the society. His immediate tasks are to work on waste management and land protection.
MIDC, on its part, is working on upgrading its Common Effluent Treatment Plants by involving in the process at Thane-Belapur belt and Taloja, said Rajendra Sonje, Deputy CEO of the corporation. Maharashtra is the only state in the country to directly involve a government body in effluent treatment.

CIDCO additional chief planner Ravi Kumar highlighted the fact that 37% of the city has been earmarked as ‘no development zone’. The change of user – from industry and service sector -in the Thane-Belapur belt has put additional stress on the infrastructure. This aspect was perhaps not considered during the early stages of urban planning, he remarked.

Ms Uma Adusumilli, chief of planning division at MMRDA, said projects such as water usage, rain water harvesting should be part of the city system and not a mere regulatory provisions. She was happy to note that Navi Mumbai, which was planned as a self-sustained city, remained so. As a job centre and with social infrastructure, water and sewerage systems the city stands out as the best in MMRDA, she said.

Setting the tone for the discussions, former CIDCO chief planner Dinkar Samant dealt with the well planned land use and focus on open spaces. However, he sounded a note caution on pollution saying that even after 40 years, quarrying continues to be a concern in Turbhe, Khargrar and Panvel areas although it is reduced. The south side of the city continues to be abused, damaging the environment, he said. Debris dumping, unauthorized sand mining, solid waste management in non-NMMC areas, effluent treatment in industrial belts are the areas which need immediate attention, Samant, who is also the environment cell chairman of Navi Mumbai First, said in his power point presentation.

In the second panel discussion chaired by E Jayashree Kurup, editorial head of Magicbricks, speakers dealt with the role of entrepreneurs and developers. Urban planner Kedarnath Rao Ghorpade called for checking unplanned real estate development and expressed the hope that NAINA township might set a new trend in city development.

Vijay Lokhande, chairman of Panvel Industrial Cooperative Estate, said the SME industries are willing work with PMC on waste water treatment and containing pollution.

Former BMC commissioner Subodh Kumar, in his keynote address, said that air and water pollution should be the focus areas for the local authorities. Quarries should be away from residential areas and data on pollution levels should be in public domain. While laying down policies, one should strictly adhere to compliances as well, he said.

Sounding alarm bells, he said, the Thane Creek has become target for dumping waste for Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.

Navi Mumbai First felicitated Dr. N. Ramaswami on behalf of citizens of Navi Mumbai as the city stood first in SWM under his guidance in Swachh Bharat Abhiyans in this year.
Environment Day
Environmental Health
Navi Mumbai
Role of Stake Holders
Rajesh Prajapati
Mohan Gurnani
Navi Mumbai First Charitable Trust