Shut down industries responsible for harmful emissions

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We have been experiencing pungent chemical odour at frequent intervals in major parts of Hyderabad city areas such as Madinaguda, Miyapur, Nizampet, Bachupally and surrounding areas for several years. This was covered extensively by “The Hindu” and the link to the online version is referenced at the end of this petition.

We have complained to the Pollution Control Board authorities via phone, email and personally on a number of occasions since 2010. We have even met the member secretary at PCB on several occasions and raised our concerns. The lab test reports for the samples that were collected have indicated high concentration of chemicals. But unfortunately no effective action has been taken to put an end to this menace. The authorities are citing lack of relevant infrastructure and support from higher-ups to take any effective action.

The people living and working around here have been experiencing severe health issues including respiratory problems such as breathlessness, bronchial infections, headaches, eye irritation, nausea, sleeplessness, dry cough, nasal allergies resulting in frequent doctor visits. We are not able to sleep inside our houses in spite of shutting all the doors and windows, and not able to breath properly. Day to day living has been compromised to a great extent due to pungent smell and toxic air. Please note that there are several schools in these areas posing a greater risk to children while traveling to and from their schools and while participating in outdoor activities.  

We have serious concerns about the long term ill effects of the chemical gases releasing into the air. They are causing not only air pollution but possible disastrous health impact on all surrounding communities. It is like slow poisoning where we are breathing in polluted air even inside of our homes, and afraid that its impact will be more than any industrial disaster we have seen so far.

It is unfortunate that the problem is still prevailing in spite of our repeated attempts to represent the severity of the issue to PCB. There is heightened concern among all the families here on the inhalation of toxic/carcinogenic gases for longer durations which is unsafe and can lead to chronic and lethal effects, especially for young children.

Accordingly, we request for your immediate action to address the following;

1. Strict measures to stop and prevent the toxic gas emissions.

2. Appoint/designate an official team with necessary infrastructure and machinery for continuous observation and investigation of the issue.

3. Strict action against the culprits.
 
We shall very much appreciate your co-operation and prompt action in this matter. PLEASE ADDRESS OUR GRIEVANCE ONCE FOR ALL ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS. 

Thank you for your support
Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen Groups
Hyderabad

Reference:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/miyapur-turns-into-a-virtual-gas-chamber/article4143172.ece
 
Excerpt: Dawn and dusk are not the same anymore ever since pollution came to haunt the residents of Miyapur and its vicinities for the last one year. At frequent intervals pungent odour, suspected to be dangerous mercaptan emissions from nearby industrial estates, is making lives miserable sending residents scurrying for cover behind closed doors.

http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/153407/ : Health effects of methyl mercaptan

Excerpt: A worker exposed to very high levels (exact amount unknown) of this compound for several days when he opened and emptied tanks of methyl mercaptan went into a coma (became unconscious), developed anemia (a blood disorder) and internal bleeding. He died within a month after this incident.

http://sulfur.nigc.ir/en/hse/sulfurcompounds/methylmercaptan/healtheffects: Health effects of Methyl mercaptan

Excerpt: Breathing of high vapor concentrations may cause dizziness, light-headedness, headache, nausea and loss of coordination. Continued inhalation may result in unconsciousness. Toxic; may be harmful or fatal if inhaled. The vapor or fumes from this material may cause respiratory irritation. This material has a strong objectionable odor that may cause nausea, dizziness, or headache.



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