The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and State Environment Department to file an affidavit on steps taken to deal with garbage thrown out by the sea at Marine Drive during high tide.

A Division Bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the NGO Citizens Circle for Social Welfare and Education. The PIL cites a report by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, on the impact of sewage discharge on the water quality on the west coast. It seeks direction from the court to frame guidelines to stop pollution of the coastal waters. Advocate Shehzad Naqvi, appearing for the NGO, told the court that earlier this month, around 9,000 tonnes of garbage was thrown out by the sea at Marine Drive.

A report collated by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board said the BMC was discharging large quantities of untreated sewage into the sea. The court said that as per the report, out of 2,671 million litre of sewage per day, 2,016 million litre is treated at eight sewage treatment plants by the BMC. The remaining 655 million litre untreated sewage is discharged directly into the sea.

The Bench directed the BMC and the Environment Department to file an affidavit on steps taken to deal with the issue on August 10.

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