Skip to main content

Quarrying suspended in Navi Mumbai’s Parsik Hill as authorities review mining lease (hindu )

The mining lease of multiple quarrying companies operating along the Parsik Hill near Navi Mumbai is up for review. An ongoing campaign, led by non-profit Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) and backed by four other NGOs, hopes to bring the environmental destruction to light and halt the quarrying.

Air pollution levels around stone crusher units are hundred times the acceptable levels, according to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Quarrying along the 15-kilometre-long hill stretch has destroyed biodiversity, forests and affected the water table. Stalin D, director of non-profit Vanashakti says, “The Parsik hill range has the potential for an excellent venue for eco-tourism and adventure sports. Please save these beautiful forested hills from reckless destruction.”

Ambiguous ownership

Quarries were first allocated to locals who had given their land to the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), for the expansion of Navi Mumbai. These quarries have now changed hands, according to an RTI response obtained by Nandakumar Pawar, director of Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan. Pawar adds that many owners enjoy political patronage.

Case history

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change granted mining rights in Parsik Hills for 20 years from 2006 till 2026. The CIDCO, however, restricted the lease to ten years, up to September 2016. The lease was extended till March 2017, only to be challenged through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by a resident. The quarries have remained inactive since May 2017 due to pressure from residents and concerns over pollution levels.

The District Environmental Committee, the government body responsible for giving environment clearances, has held two meetings to discuss the matter and is close to delivering its decision. Technical expertise has been sought from the governmental research body National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to review environmental clearances.

Activists plan to continue their fight by moving to the National Green Tribunal and approaching Maharashtra Chief Minister if the decision is not in their favour.


Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…