Smart City Rourkela and its adjacent locations have been reeling under severe dust pollution for over a month now. The denizens have not only been facing breathing problems but there is possibility of lungs related challenges for them, feel experts here.
On March 8, the State Pollution Control Board statement reveals the PM level was 5 times higher than the desired level. Recently, as the entire area was covered with dense dust and fog, the denizens were scared of gas leakage in Rourkela Steel Plant. Citing the example of that day, former Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray has written a letter to CM Naveen Patnaik with certain suggestions to meet the unwarranted challenge. Ray said though emergency measures were taken by the district administration that led to some sort of relief but the problem remained far from over.
Ray further mentioned about the sluggish pace at which the road construction works by the Public Works Department and Rourkela Municipal Corporation is being carried out.
Over and above, the sprinkling of water at regular intervals which is a must to suppress dust is hardly being done and the result is that the citizens now are forced to live in dust chambers, Ray mentioned. "One understands such development works have been necessitated by the growing needs of the city but it is equally important to ensure that such works do not become a surface of incessant troubles for general public," said Ray.
He mentioned that Right to Life is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 and the right as defined by the Supreme Court in its judgment includes right to enjoyment of pollution free air.
He urged the CM that apart from ensuring the expeditious steps to complete the ongoing projects by coordinating with concerned departments, the authorities be directed to ensure that the work executing agencies unfailingly sprinkle water every 30-45 minutes as it would provide a great relief to the denizens from the menace of dust pollution. Ray also forwarded a copy of the letter to the State Minister of Forest and Environment.