Political parties today hijacked the public hearing organised by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Tata Power’s proposal to convert its 500 Mw unit at its Trombay plant in north-east Mumbai to coal from gas at a cost of Rs 1,174 crore.
At the meeting, practically all political parties opposed the proposal, citing a rise in pollution and diseases like cancer and asthama.
Party leaders engaged in one-upmanship to drive home their point against the project, making it hard for Deputy Collector Shivaji Patil to maintain order.
Former Congress minister and current legislator from the Chembur constituency, Chandrakant Handore warned Chembur would be closed if Tata Power’s proposal was cleared and announced he would lead a delegation against the Congress-led government.
The Shiv Sena took strong objection to the proposed conversion of unit 6 of the Trombay plant to coal. Its former legislator, Raja Chaugule, who was vocal during his argument, alleged the public hearing was stage-managed and added his party would oppose the proposed conversion.
The ruling Nationalist Congress Party represented by former legislator Ravindra Pawar also echoed concerns raised by Handore and Chaugule. Pawar claimed the proposed conversion of unit six to coal would have an adverse impact on marine life.