The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has registered an FIR with reference to the chemical pollution of Bhendkhal Creek in Uran leading to the death of several fish and crabs. Local fishing communities and environmentalists have raised an alarm against some chemical tankers being washed with the creek water at Bhendkhal.
MPCB Sub Regional Officer Sachin Adkar confirmed that an FIR against unidentified persons has been filed with the Uran police. “There are complaints from locals that they saw industrial wastewater being released from tankers. Now, police will investigate the matter,” said Adkar.
Earlier, the MPCB officials visited the creek and collected samples from the creek on July 26, 2022 that showed some chemicals. The tests are being further analysed. Even the water colour was yellowish. Based on that, the MPCB official registered a police complaint. As per the FIR, the MPCB officials received a number of complaints in the form of videos and photos from villagers. Even the Bhandkhal Gram Panchayat had given a written complaint.
B N Kumar, Director of NatConnect Foundation said that Tahsildar Bhausaheb Andhare also forwarded the pictures of some tankers being washed to the police as well as RTO and requested the police to keep an eye on the culprits and take necessary action. The officials examined the mangroves in the area and found that no damage has been done to them, so far.
“As it is, the fishing community has been hit hard due to the burial of a series of wetlands and blocking of intertidal flow by various ongoing projects,” NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar said and pointed out that the chemical pollution menace kills whatever little catch the fishermen get.
This is not the first time that the chemical tanker menace has come to notice. Even the railway tankers were seen getting cleaned in the creek water near the Container Terminal-IV recently. “Authorities must take strict action,” said Nandkumar Pawar, Head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan. The ongoing construction of infrastructure projects has had a deadly impact on the fishing community, Pawar said and decried that even the fishing channels through which the boats go into the sea have been blocked illegally by various infrastructure operators such as JNPA.