No farm­ing along rail­way track: FDA

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Of­fi­cials from Food and Drugs Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) and Maharashtra Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board vis­ited the farm­ing ar­eas along the rail­way tracks in Navi Mum­bai on Thurs­day and col­lected sam­ples of veg­eta­bles.

The farm­ers al­legedly use wa­ter from the nul­lahs for cul­ti­vat­ing veg­eta­bles in those ar­eas. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints from the city res­i­dents the of­fi­cials came to ver­ify the facts. They also col­lected sam­ples of naullah wa­ter from dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

“If the re­ports we re­ceived from the res­i­dents are true, it is re­ally a se­ri­ous mat­ter. We will send the col­lected sam­ples for ex­am­i­na­tions and the re­sults will come within eight to four­teen work­ing days,” said one of­fi­cial from pol­lu­tion con­trol

board.

Some of the farm­ers claimed that they have per­mis­sions from the rail­way au­thor­i­ties for farm­ing in the open spa­ces along the tracks. How­ever, none

of them could show any doc­u­ments sup­port­ing the same.

“We are not against farm­ing in the open spa­ces. But we are con­cerned about the wa­ter be­ing used for it. It is known to all the hun­dreds of fac­to­ries in the MIDC ar­eas re­lease chem­i­cals to the nul­lahs in the city. The colour of the nul­lah wa­ter keeps chang­ing de­pend­ing upon the chem­i­cals re­leased to them.

If some­one uses such wa­ter for farm­ing, it will def­i­nitely af­fect the con­sumers’ health,” said Santosh Pach­lag, gen­eral sec­re­tary of BJP (Navi Mum­bai unit).

“The veg­eta­bles grown in th­ese ar­eas nor­mally make it to the mar­kets of Vashi, Nerul, Kopar Khairane and pe­riph­eral ar­eas. So we are vic­tims of such evil prac­tices. There­fore we had in­formed the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned to visit the ar­eas to un­der­stand the sce­nario.

We hope they will take some con­crete steps af­ter the re­sults come,” he added.

De­spite re­peated at­tempts, the rail­way of­fi­cials were un­avail­able for com­ments.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints from res­i­dents, the FDA of­fi­cials vis­ited the farm­ing sites along tracks on Thurs­day.

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