Jharsuguda: The alarming rise in the pollution level has been a major concern for residents in the industrial town of Jharsguda now. Huge quantities of fly-ash being produced by power companies daily have emerged as a major threat to life.
People are facing breathing problems apart from being inflicted in various skin and water and air-borne diseases. Though large companies have established their power units in the district, locals are still to get jobs.
Recently on July 15, fly ash engulfed the entire Jharsuguda town triggering panic among the residents.
Arguing that economic development cannot take place at the cost of public health, Pahadeswar Development Council, an organisation working for the development of Jharsuguda, met the district Collector seeking his intervention to ensure a healthy environment.
According to them, heavy extraction of ground water, ground water pollution, air toxicity, fly ash and hazardous waste dumping are key problems that have come up in the town and thousands of people being badly affected.
Sangram Mohanty, Trushar Patel, Sailendra Sahu, Bijay Das, Amit Sahu and Subash Saha of the council also urged the State Pollution Control Board to act in accordance with the law thereby protecting the environment.
The Council alleged that though the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in July 10 directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to shut down polluting industries in “critically polluted” and “severely polluted” areas across the country within three months, no such efforts have been taken in Jharsuguda.
“Industrial pollution has been playing havoc in Jharsuguda with people not only suffering from severe health problems but also losing livelihood sources of agriculture and fisheries,” said Sangram Mohanty.