Air Pollution is on rise severely In at least 9 cities Of Odisha
By Bijay Mishra
Air Pollution is on rise severely In at least 9 cities Of Odisha due to unplanned massive industrialisation, mining activities and rising vehicular movement.
These towns have dangerous air pollutants, PM10 . These cities include Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Angul, Talcher, Rourkela ,Jharsuguda, Bonaigarh and Kalinga Nagar (Jajpur). They have been categorised as the non-attainment city.
Total 9 nine towns of Odisha found place in a list of ‘non-attainment’ cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India.
The NAMP by Central Pollution Control Board monitors three major air pollutants — Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter size equal to or less than 10 micron (PM10) along with meteorological parameters across the country.
At least Six cities of Odisha are among the 102 most polluted in India. Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Angul, Talcher and Rourkela have failed to maintain the national ambient air quality standards fixed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Bhubaneswar is recording an alarming level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in air. It leads to serious aggravation of heart and lungs diseases and increases the risk of premature death. It could also lead to cardio- respiratory diseases.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a related case observed that in Odisha, the primary reasons of air pollution are vehicular emission, road dust, industrial pollution, pollution from construction and demolition work.
University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index suggests that residents in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar could live 2.7 years longer if the government meets the WHO air quality standards.
The number of tuberculosis, bronchitis and cardio-vascular patients are increasing dramatically in the mining clusters of Keonjhar, Joda and Barbil. Children, pregnant women and senior citizens are the worst victims.
Both Talcher and Angul are polluted due to growing industrial and mining activities . Angul District has got enough coal reserve Deviating from the principle of phasing out production of fossil fuel energy , the Government stressed upon opening of new coal mines in this new critically polluted area .
Process has been started for opening of another 20 coal mines only in Chhendipada & Kaniha region .Presentely there are 12 mines operated in Angul - Talcher region .
In the recent auctions of coal blocks, around 30,000 acres of land in the state was put up for mining.
Chhendipada area in Angul district of Odisha is marked by large patches of green cover comprising forests of large tree species like Sal and others.Notwithstanding the rich flora and fauna it harnesses, this zone, adjacent to the Bamur Forest Range, is also rich in coal reserves and falls under the Talcher coalfield. Talcher coalfield is known to be India’s largest repository of coal and often referred to as the “black diamond” of the state.
Talcher region is known in the country for hosting the largest deposits of power grade coal. According to Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, Talcher coalfield hosts the highest geological reserve of coal in India measuring upto 51.220 billion tonnes.
Without consulting the affected people , as many as about 20 coal mines are auctioned in a small region of Chhendipada block for commercial mining and it will adversely affect lakhs of people of Angul district at large .
Without a proper "Habitat Planning" , around 20 coal mines including Radhikapur East and West are set to establish for commercial mining in the Chhendipada block of Criticality polluted Angul District .
At present, people are vehemently opposing
EMIL owned Radhikapur East . Aditya Birla group owned EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd became the winning bidder for Radhikapur (East) coal mine. This coal block , spread over an area of 10.16 sq km, has a net proved reserve of 176.33 million tonne (MT) of fossil fuel. Villages like Jhintipal, Gopiballabhpur, Gopinathpur and Barpada will be directly and immensely affected by Radhikapur (East) coal mine.
Without habitat planning coal mines are allowed to operate in Chhendipada , Talcher and Kaniha area .People have lost there natural resources, water resources and connectivity . Coal mine surrounding villages are greately affected by air ,water and noise pollution . People are continuously demonstrating against traffic jam for coal transport vehicles . Without addressing these issues , Govt allowed further minning in Angul area "Commercial Coal Mining in Chhendipada area will pose a threat to the abundance and diversity of flora and fauna .The cumulative impacts of mining in this region will further aggravate the sustainability challenges of the landscape due to disturbances and deterioration of forest ecology.Govt most stop further coal mines , which is going on without the consent of the people “- told Mr Rabindra Prasad Pattanaik, President “ Citizen Action Forum”
34 Industries and Mines of Odisha have seriously violated implementation of EIA and EMP by MOEF &CC to develop required “GREENBELT “ ,directly affecting at least 650 villages and habitats.
Green belts in and around industrial and mines areas are important to the ecological health of any given region . The important objectives of development of Greenbelt are to protect natural environments such as biodiversity, etc, to improve air quality of the region, pollution control, to maintain micro climate of the region, etc.
Non implementation of required Greenbelt projects around the industries and mines of Odisha lead to serious health hazards aggravating COVID-19 among the peripheral people .
In Odisha A total of 64 mining projects has led to the diversion of 10451.39 hectares of forest land over 38 years in Keonjhar district – the highest loss of green cover in Odisha since 1980.Rampant mining has been depriving locals of basic rights like access to clean air, water and greenery.
Air pollution has become very serious in urban areas of Odisha mainly due to automobile exhausts, industrial emissions and construction work.