[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to ensure that the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) connects sewerage treatment plants to extended sewer lines within a reasonable time so that untreated sewage is not dumped into the Mithi river.
A two-judge bench of Chief Justice Nanadrajod and Justice N M Jamdar directed the MPCB to seek quarterly reports from MCGM regarding the extension of the existing sewerage pipelines.
The MPCB had brought to the notice of the court that sewerage treatment plants had been erected and commissioned by MCGM at eight places, but they were not functioning at full capacity. The board told the court that MCGM had not laid sewerage lines to allow the effluent to flow to the treatment plants before being discharged into the Arabian Sea.
“The problem is identifiable. The problem is of sewer lines not being laid to bring the entire effluent to the existing sewerage treatment plants which are operating below their capacity,” the court observed.
The Mithi is a 17.9 kms long river that provides natural protection from floods. However, the river has been systematically choked by garbage and untreated sewage.
A public interest petition was filed by an NGO, Citizen Circle for Social Welfare and Education, highlighting that untreated effluent was being discharged into the river, which ultimately flowed into the Arabian Sea.