Asbestos poses health hazard at Inchimala - The New Indian Express

Asbestos poses health hazard at Inchimala

Published: 11th March 2013 10:03 AM

Last Updated: 11th March 2013 10:03 AM

With no end in sight to the pollution problems caused by the asbestos godown at Inchimala in Mulanthuruthy panchayat, the residents organised a people’s convention in the area which was inaugurated by environmentalist S Seetharaman on Sunday.

The residents demanded shifting of the godown to a remote location as it is now situated in the centre of four major colonies at Inchimala, a most-populated area of Mulanthuruthy

The residents are suffering from severe health problems. About 1,342 persons living in a 200-m radius of the asbestos godown are suffering from skin disease, breathing problems and bronchitis caused by asbestos fibre.

“There is a rise in health problems of the people in the area. Many are suffering from skin disease, bronchitis and breathing problems. A survey conducted in the four hospitals at Inchimala reveals that 32 children are suffering from consistent cough and doctors attributed it to asbestos dust,” said George, convener, Inchimala Janakiya Samithy.

“When the godown was set up three years only one or two trucks were unloaded but today around 30 trucks ply to and fro causing a lot of pollution. We complained about this to the panchayat president, Pollution Control Board and the Health Department but nobody has budged so far. We have also submitted a mass petition to Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob,” he said.

With the problems aggravating day by day, the people decided to organise a convention and declare a indefinite strike if measures are not taken immediately. “We learnt from an RTI that the firm has got the Health Department and Pollution Control Board’s nod but it has not got public consent,” said George.

Panchayat president Raji Chakravarthy said the project was sanctioned by the previous panchayat head. “Only now the pollution has increased causing health problems. After receiving the complaint, we  discussed the issue in the committee and have brought it to the notice of the Pollution Control Board and awaiting its response. We have not got any reports on health hazards,” she said.

The company proprietor was not available for comment. Social and political activists also attended the convention.

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