Tuesday, 27 March, 2012

Dust pollution alarming in steel city

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New Indian Express reports

ROURKELA: Dust pollution in Rourkela city has been showing a worrying trend for the past few years. With road expansion works being taken up, the problem of dust pollution has aggravated, exposing its citizens to grave health hazards. Coupled with emissions from vehicles, the dust particles form a toxic haze that hangs over the atmosphere for a long period.

Two of these road expansion projects are moving at a snail’s pace for nearly three years now. To worsen the situation, seldom is water sprinkling done to keep the problem under control.

In view of the development needs of the ever-growing Rourkela city, several road expansion works have been initiated simultaneously by the Public Works Department (PWD) and Rourkela Municipality. Even after almost three years, the Hanuman Vatika-Hockey Square and Panposh-Uditnagar four-lane projects are still to be completed.

Moreover, the existing main road at Chhend Colony along with other arterial roads have been dug up. Similar works are being carried out at the Koel Nagar and Labour Tenement area and other parts of the city.

In particular, the Basanti Colony road-over-bridge ending at Uditnagar has made life miserable with passing vehicles kicking up clouds of dust incessantly.

Former municipal chairman Ramesh Bal said the civic body had spent ` 13 lakh last year towards water sparkling, without actually doing it. He also held the PWD responsible for the inconvenience as the majority of the ongoing projects are executed by the PWD. PWD Executive Engineer UC Mishra said the contractors avoid water sprinkling to save costs. Former municipal chairman and Jan Kalyan Sangathan president Narendra Tripathy also resented the callous attitude of the PWD. He said two months back, despite repeated requests from the people of Uditnagar water sprinkling was not done.

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