Polluting environment


Dumping of huge construction material and debris on road side by the concerned executing agencies, which is causing adverse impact on environment besides putting the people residing in the peripheries of the National Highway to numerous hardships. Lack of coordination between various agencies entrusted with the task of lifting the muck and other material from the sites was also noticed. The prevailing situation is notwithstanding the fact that Committee on Environment of the Legislative Assembly had timely sounded the warning bells with the suggestion to the Government to take preventive measures and even come out with Social Environmental Framework so that all the pre and post constructional issues in respect of all mega projects are taken into account for necessary remedial measures well in time. Huge population living in the vicinity of Udhampur-Chenani and Nashri-Ramban-Banihal stretches of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is suffering from chest and lung diseases as the ongoing widening works have continuously been polluting the environment by generating uncontrolled dust.
On Udhampur-Chenani stretch of the National Highway dense clouds of dust is a common phenomenon as company entrusted with the task of widening work rarely sprinkles water, which otherwise is imperative to settle the dust to minimize the impact on environment as well as to provide clear visibility to the vehicle operators.
While the Pollution Control Board is supposed to take stock of the situation after regular intervals and pass necessary directions to the agencies engaged for widening of the National Highway so that environment pollution is checked. There is sharp rise in the number of people suffering from chest and lung diseases ever since the highway widening works have been started. Not only aged persons even children are also suffering from lung diseases due to heavy dust particles in the area and facing problem of huge dust particles even in the hospital premises and this clearly indicates that adequate steps are not being taken by the executing agencies to minimize the impact of widening works. The prevailing situation has clearly established that the warning bells sounded by Committee on Environment of Legislative Assembly have been ignored by all the concerned agencies of the State as well as project executing companies. However, neither R&B Department has come out with Social Environmental Framework nor pressure has been exerted on the project executing agencies for minimizing adverse impact on the environment and health of the people.

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