Ambernath, Badlapur, Ulhasnagar residents fed up with toxic air, pollution problems
Breathing in poisonous air daily as complaints over smoke from dumping grounds causing heavy pollution fall on deaf ears, Ambernath, Badlapur and Ulhasnagar residents issue warning to others
Ever heard of a 'Do not buy a house...' campaign? Believe it or not, that's what's going on in suburbs on the outskirts of the city. Residents have started a 'Do not buy a house in Ambernath, Badlapur and Ulhasnagar' campaign, fed up with the toxic air and dangerous pollution problems plaguing the area.
First, Kalyan and Deonar residents had agitated over thick smoke billowing into their homes due to dumping grounds in the vicinity; later, those staying in Ambernath and Ulhasnagar complained to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) repeatedly after failing to even see the road properly owing to the same problem.
Breathless in Ambernath
With no action being taken to address their grievances, they started the campaign and gave a complaint to the police, alleging violation of pollution control act. A social activist from Ambernath, Satyajit Burman, has complained to the Ambernath Municipal Corporation and MPCB many times.
"Ambernath and Ulhasnagar residents are facing serious health issues because of smoke from the dumping ground. In Ambernath, the civic council is illegally dumping garbage and setting it on fire. The resulting methane is causing breathlessness among residents. With the situation deteriorating with every passing day and no authority paying attention, we went to the cops."
Residents of these areas have even planned a gathering to push forth their warning campaign. Avinash Jadhav, who stays in the area, said, "The dumping ground is right next to the main road, because of which it becomes difficult to drive when the stretch is thick with smoke. The air we are breathing is poisonous, and it could lead to cancer, birth deformities, tuberculosis, etc, all culminating in a premature death. We've been dealing with this problem for the last three years, but lately, it has become worse. Something as simple as crossing the road is tedious now because of the smoke, and none of us have been able to sleep properly either."
"Adults, senior citizens and children, all are suffering... People are afraid to go outside but can't keep themselves locked up in their homes all day either. We had complained to MPCB, but no one even came to check what was wrong," said another, Sushil Singh.
Senior inspector of Ambernath Shivaji Nagar police station, Subhash Kokate said, "Residents came to us and gave their complaint. Accordingly, we informed the MPCB to send an official to check the situation and do the needful. We don't have any authority to do that work." MPCB officer D B Patil did not respond to mid-day's calls and messages.
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