The state has elevated the minimal distance between stone quarries that don’t require blasting and residential areas and public buildings to 100 metres (m) from 50m. Nevertheless, environmentalists preserve the revised tips are grossly insufficient and don’t tackle the problem of uncontrolled blasting, which might impacts human habitation inside a 500m radius.
The Maharashtra Air pollution Management Board (MPCB) revealed revised tips on August 3, which have been made accessible on its web site on Saturday. These come after a February 2 order of the Nationwide Inexperienced Tribunal (NGT), primarily based on a petition in opposition to quarrying in Kerala. NGT directed the Central Air pollution Management Board (CPCB) to develop country-wide uniform tips for quarrying. “We’ve got applied precisely what CPCB has communicated to us,” mentioned Sudhir Srivastava, chairman, MPCB.
MPCB’s round states stone quarries could also be arrange at a minimal distance of 100 m (with out blasting) from residential areas, highways, public buildings, railways strains, bridges, dams, monuments, heritage websites, canals, lakes, tanks and so forth. The minimal distance for quarries that require blasting of rocks stays the identical at 200 m. “The regulation for the hazard zone – 500m – as prescribed by the Directorate Basic (DG) of Mines Security must be adopted scrupulously,” reads the round .
Whereas the pan-India mandate stays 200 m minimal distance (when blasting is concerned), the 500 m rule regulation would relevant wherever essential and the state air pollution management board would implement it on a case-to-case foundation, mentioned officers. “Nevertheless, it isn’t a mandate and must be enforced solely when required by means of managed blasting strategies and guaranteeing that human habitations and linear infrastructure will not be threatened by the quarry’s functioning,” mentioned Srivastava, including that MPCB would make sure the 500m distance is maintained and noise norms will not be violated by stone quarries.
Stone quarries emit particulate matter nearly 100 occasions the protected restrict, based on MPCB. “Other than air, noise and water air pollution, specific tips for blasting and drilling have been issued. Such actions should be completed throughout beneficial climate situations [not during monsoon when there may be landslides] utilizing permissible amount of explosives so there isn’t a influence to human habitation,” he mentioned.
Stone quarries emit particulate matter nearly 100 occasions the protected restrict, based on MPCB. “Other than air, noise and water air pollution, specific tips for blasting and drilling have been issued. Such actions should be completed throughout beneficial climate situations (not throughout monsoon that may result in landslides), permissible amount of explosives so there isn’t a influence to human habitations, and vibrations should be periodically monitored,” mentioned Srivastava.
In response to district survey reviews from 2019, mining permits have been issued to roughly 16 quarries within the Mumbai suburban district; 330 permits have been issued in Thane; 52 in Palghar; 170 in Nagpur; and 30 in Sindhudurg.
Environmentalists mentioned the revised tips are insufficient. “Whereas not one of the present quarries are following this rule, the 500m distance has not been adopted by CPCB or MPCB. One other challenge is cluster mining, which is extra harmful. That is an ad-hoc measure to adjust to the NGT order,” mentioned Debi Goenka, govt trustee, Conservation Motion Belief.
BN Kumar, director, NatConnect mentioned, “Going by the instance of Navi Mumbai, for over three a long time, Vashi, Nerul, Belapur face loud sounds of the blasts resulting in cracks on glass home windows. Presently, the neighbouring Kharghar node is going through a quarry menace. The hills behind the Tata Most cancers Hospital are being blasted. A number of homes at Gholwadi village additionally complained of cracks on their partitions and window glasses.”
CASE STUDIES OF QUARRY MENACE
Thane-Belapur Industrial Belt
“When there may be uncontrolled blasting, the minimal distance needs to be greater than 500m and regardless of the arrival of expertise, most of those quarries will not be putting in higher tools for managed blasting. We confronted a horrible scenario as the whole industrial belt was threatened by these actions till it was taken up with the state. Solely then, most of those quarries have been moved out. Nevertheless, the risk looms for different industrial and residential areas the place the 200 m minimal distance is inadequate,” mentioned Jaydevan Ok, former extra chief secretary, Thane Belapur Industrial belt (TBIA).
Hillocks Being Flattened In MMR
Environmentalist Nandkumar Pawar, who has lately filed complaints of destruction of hills alongside the Dombivli-Ambernath MIDC street as a result of quarries that offer stones for housing building tasks in Kharghar, mentioned, “These quarries will not be even 50m away from the freeway and there are villages lower than 150 m the place uncontrolled blasting had taken place earlier than the monsoon season,” mentioned Pawar.