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Odishatv Bureau

Rourkela: Rourkela has been witnessing bizarre weather condition since the past three days with a thick blanket of smog covering the Steel city as the local administration on Tuesday urged residents to use masks and avoid unnecessary outings till the situation improved.

"As long as this condition prevails I would like to request everyone not to take off masks and avoid unnecessary outings." said district collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan.

He said the thick air with heavy suspended pollutants is suspected to have been caused by the wildfire in neighbouring Similipal forests, or emission of gases from the Rourkela steel plant. He said air samples would be sent for tests to find out the pollutant sources.

"We are not sure about the exact reason behind the poor air condition. We will send samples from RSP for lab testing and initiate measures accordingly,” he added.

As per reports, the increasing amount of pollutants in the air in the Steel City is not only resulting in an unpleasant dry weather with heavy fog since the last three days, it has also contributed to many airborne ailments among residents.
The arterial roads in the city, Mahatav road and Hockey Square are the worst affected areas.

Residents said the heavy smog is reducing visibility while driving while burning sensation is felt while breathing.

A students from the Municipality College said she and her fellow classmates are facing burning sensation in the nose and eyes while travelling to the college. She said the smoggy weather makes it difficult to ride bicycles as well.

The regional pollution control officials at Rourkela said they are aware of the seriousness of the situation. An official said increase in the overall pollution in the State is the root cause behind the unusual weather condition in the city.
"We are working hard to get rid of the situation as soon as possible," the official said.

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