We Asked: Is there some commercial activity taking place on the sly that is causing pollution in your area? What is it and is the authority aware of the problem, yet keeping eyes closed?
The rocky Bundelkhand is the epicenter for mining. Open cast mining and quarrying activities are going on in and around the Bundelkhand to the exploitation of the rocks and minerals, which are non-renewable products of nature. Once exhausted, they cannot be recreated or restored like the forests because it is a very long and time taking process. Although minerals are significant for development, the small mine owners take lease of the site and proceed with the activities, breaking all the rules to be followed. No water sprinkling is done to subside the dust particles in the air. This has badly affected the regional environment and health of the people due to noise, water and air pollution. Air pollution is caused due to dust produced during blasting and other mining operations, in the form RSPM (Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter) and SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter). Haze is all one can see outside a range of 50 to 100 metres. The visibility decreases to zero when a stone crusher unit is operational. The flora including the trees and shrubs has grayed, dying slowly. Dust particles which get stimulated each time with the passage of a heavy vehicle have become a part of daily life of people located in the mining infested regions in Bundelkhand area. Dust is killing the people; it is what they breathe and eat. The Central Pollution Control Board’s Comprehensive Industry Series that document on stone crushers states that the sites contain millions of suspended mineral particles of inhalable size that get deposited in lungs during respiration. These atmospheric particulates have adverse effect on human health either by penetrating the lung and causing irritation to the internal membrane, or by transporting absorbed toxic gases and vapors deeper into the lung. The dust containing microscopic particles of crystalline silica forms scar tissue in the lungs, which lessen the lungs ability to pull in oxygen from the air. According to the doctors, being surrounded by dust all the time, may lead to continuous coughing in the people, This also reduces the immunity of the people and makes them susceptible to TB bacteria. Pursuing the available literature on the National Mineral Policy, it has been found that, there is no strong and clear cut provision to protect the environmental degradation due to the open cast mining activities as going on smoothly in Bundelkhand. -Dr Sonika Kushwaha, President, Indian Biodiversity Conservation Society
The Visakhapatnam Port trust is responsible for 75% of the city's pollution. The wastes which are produced in the various processes in the port are dumped in the mangroves and surrounding coastal areas. This is causing a huge pollution to the water bodies in the area and is also destroying the mangroves cover. The trucks of coal are also a major cause of dust pollution in the area. Apart from this, containers and refineries also contribute to huge amount of air pollution. This dust & air pollution is leading to many diseases & health problems in the people living here. Soot flying from here affects people living here, especially children. Everything mentioned here is under watch of the authorities, but they turn a blind eye as this whole area is under the Port Trust and they have a huge name against which no one can do anything here. - Oindrila Bhattacharyya, Fridays For Future, Andhra Pradesh
Topic of the month: Do you think certain breeds of dogs like Pitbull and even Pug should be phased out as demanded by certain animal welfare organisations or there should be a ban on unethical breeding of new varieties like Pomsky done to simply rake in moolah? You may send your views (either in Hindi or English) in 300 words at [email protected] Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.