The story of 2 hills illustrates that the history that entails the contrasting picture of Navi Mumbai where realty prices of prime projects now nudge eminent Mumbai suburbs. The two hills, where at one of the hills, the quarrying/mining came to a halt for over 7 months, while the other is witnessing blasting – have a history related with Mumbai. The municipal territory trims just ahead of the Vashi creek bridge.
Until a few years ago, Parsik hill, resting in the north fed around 10,000 and 12,000 ton of stone chips and stone sand everyday till a few years ago, stated the president of Navi Mumbai Quarry Owners Association Namdeo Thakur. But’ in the year 2014 or so “the production doubled to some 20,000 ton a day, on an average, with a 50:50 consumption of raw material between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai,” he added.
Meanwhile, a petition filed by a resident asking to bring a complete halt in the mining process to stop from mining beyond permissible limit, is scheduled for a final hearing on Nov 14 (Tuesday). The judgement is highly awaited, both by the contractors, state government and greens.
With the help of this hill, CIDCO and contractors could develop the north side of the city. However, the southern end of the city is now witnessing major expansion.
On the other hand, Ulwe hill situated on the southern end is awaiting its entire ongoing blasting process to develop proposed international airport. This blasting process will help in the de-congestion of Mumbai airport. The diversion procedure of Ulwe river is currently going on that would pass through the hill portion.
CIDCO has a key role to play concerning the two hills, one as the nodal planning and other as the state’s development authority. It used a significant amount of raw materials of the Parsik hills and has issued 70 lease rights for quarrying. However, CIDCO has also articulated their cautious optimism in its affidavit before the NGT, relating to the perpetuation of mining. It has urged for the compliance to green norms.
Nevertheless, CIDCO and the government quickly reached a compromise to bring 16-day long interval to an end in the Ulwe hill operation. It is an operation, which relates to the R&R package of 3,500 families of 10 crore airport area villages. Being a nodal authority for the ₹16,000 crore NMIA, CIDCO has accelerated the work process to its full swing. “We need to catch up for the lost work,” the engineering department noted.
Both the hills have received the MoEF clearances, which is essentially required for development process. Earlier, the renewal had to be done by October 2016, since CIDCO rules did not permit lease right for more than 10 years. However, now it will be carried on till 2026. Though, this time around the central government had introduced the district environment committee for green certificate. The Thane collector addressed the issue brought to him by the quarry owners association, regarding the renewal of the licenses. Even when the committee had environmentalists, but the petition filed by a city resident before the NGT made it difficult for the committee to work.
CIDCO had been repeatedly seeking Centre’s help for various green clearances top develop the airport, which required dismantling the Ulwe hill. It significantly involved mangroves, forest clearances besides other issues.