Congress says pollution rising in Mumbai; demands implementation of MVA 'action plan', audit of MMR projects costs

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Mumbai: Mumbai Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad has claimed the city's air quality index has surpassed the danger level in the last few days due to which people are suffering from respiratory problems, and asked the Maharashtra government to implement the previous MVA regime's climate action plan.


She also demanded an audit of expenses of all projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and criticised the manifold increase in their costs.

"The state government should at least take into account views of the opposition parties in matters of public interest," Gaikwad said in a statement.

She demanded that the government implement the Mumbai Climate Action Plan prepared during the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime.


"A few years ago, Delhi had the worst air quality level, but Mumbai has overtaken Delhi too. The heat and humidity has also increased due to smog. This is affecting the health of Mumbaikars and there has been an increase in respiratory diseases," she said.

According to a research by NEERI and IITB, over 71 per cent of Mumbai's air pollution is caused by dust blown from roads or construction, Gaikwad said, adding that the rest of the pollution is generated by factories, power plants, airports and garbage dumps.

According to the MVA's Mumbai Climate Action Plan, measures can be taken on planning of construction hours, implementation of air and noise pollution rules at construction sites, creation of eco-parks in various areas and scientific disposal of waste at dumping grounds, she said.


"The government should not endanger Mumbaikars' health for petty politics and should seriously consider implementing the plan. Children and senior citizens are also suffering due to the existing situation. There is a dire need for the government and the corporation to take concrete measures," Gaikwad said.

She also demanded an audit of expenses of all projects in the MMR and sought to know whether their cost increase was deliberate and decided for "mutual benefits".

"To solve the traffic congestion crisis, the MVA had emphasised on launching multiple projects including the Goregaon-Mulund link road, Dahisar-Bhayandar elevated corridor, Vikhroli railway flyover, and coastal road, besides concretisation of more roads. However, since the current government came to power, these projects have been stalled as they don't seem to have time for important things. They are busy poaching and breaking other parties," Gaikwad claimed.


Mumbaikars go through gruelling hours on a daily basis and these projects are much-needed for them. If the government is not executing the projects, then they should be answerable to Mumbaikars, she said.

Gaikwad said the Goregaon-Mulund link road was supposed to cost Rs 6,301 crore, but the price has increased two-fold to Rs 12,013 crore. The cost of Dahisar-Bhayander elevated road has reached from Rs 1,981 crore to Rs 3,304 crore.

The cost of the coastal route has also increased by over Rs 1,000 crore. For the Vikhroli railway flyover, Rs 95 crore will be spent now instead of Rs 37 crore earlier, the Congress leader said.

"The MVA expedited the projects during the pandemic. However, these projects have been stuck for over a year. Instead of these projects, the government wasted Rs 1,700 crore on fake colours and lights in the name of beautification. The Shinde-Fadnavis-Pawar government has no vision of sustainable development," Gaikwad claimed.