Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Pollution is one of the most pressing issues in the world. Every year, people die due to pollution of various kinds, and it is high time that we become mindful of the way we live and use the resources of the planet to ensure that the future is green and harmless.

To create more awareness about being mindful and finding ways to reduce pollution and reverse harmful changes, National Pollution Control Day is celebrated on this day every year. The rising level of pollution is in a dangerous state in the country. As a result, it is degrading the quality of life and health of the people. 

More than 20 lakh people are dying in India due to air pollution every year. India is currently occupying the second position in the world in terms of the number of deaths due to pollution. Around 3,700 people had lost their lives and more than five lakh people were affected due to the gas leak disaster in Bhopal on December 2, 1984. 

Though many awareness programmes are being organised to create awareness about pollution control, various types of pollution are on a steep rise due to the extensive use of fossil fuels in factories, vehicles and electric production.

Pollution Scenario in Odisha: Angul

The situation is no different in Odisha and people in the State are reeling under severe pollution. Under the pretext of development, many industries have been set up in Angul. As a result, the level of air pollution is becoming acute in the town and the denizens have expressed their resentment over the work of the Pollution Control Board. 

Apart from air pollution, water bodies and soil in the town have also been polluted causing severe problems for the people. People are having a tough time due to industrial pollution, plying of thousands of vehicles and construction of roads. Many environmentalists have expressed their concern about water, air and soil pollution in the area.

“Due to lack of proper management, the town has become a critically polluted area. So much of mining and industrial activities are going on in the area polluting the air, water and soil. However, no steps are being taken to control pollution,” said environmentalist, Prasanna Kumar Behera.

Pollution Scenario in Odisha: Talcher

Similar is the case in Talcher. It has become one of the severely polluted areas in the world. The main reason behind the acute pollution in the area is transportation of raw materials dug from the mines in trucks, and railway wagons having without any covers. Houses and roads have been covered with coal dust everywhere.

Local people have alleged that the Pollution Control Board is not taking any steps despite several complaints in this regard.

“Life has become miserable in Talcher due to severe pollution happening due to mining and industrial activities. There are smoke and dust everywhere. People in the area are suffering from various diseases due to acute pollution,” said Madan Mohan Sahu, a local resident.

“We have lodged many complaints about our problems due to the pollution before the State Pollution Control Board several times. However, it has fallen in deaf ears,” alleged Pratap Pradhan, another local resident. 

Meanwhile, responding to the complaints lodged by the local people, Talcher Sub-Collector Manoj Tripathy said that proper action will be taken in this regard soon.

“We have conducted meetings with the stakeholders like MCL, Truck Owners’ Association and NH authorities. We have also given them directions to take certain steps to control pollution. Hopefully, pollution level will reduce soon,” said Tripathy.