JAGATSINGHPUR: The mushrooming of poultry farms has posed a serious threat to the environment. Majority of the farms, producing a huge amount of untreated chicken waste, are causing air, water and soil pollution in the district.
A large number of poultry farms are running in Raghunathpur block without adhering to the guidelines set by the State Government. Villagers of Gamhapur in the block alleged that pungent smell is emanating from a poultry farm. “No measures are being taken to clean litters at regular intervals at the hatcheries and boiler units. The animal waste is also found strewn across the area,” they said.
Similarly, paddy and vegetable cultivation are getting affected every year due to the release of effluent from the poultry farm, they added.
Environmentalists said the untreated waste finds its way into canals and other water sources during rainy days causing water pollution. The result is a high level of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, affecting the ecosystem.
These farms cause emission of ammonia and hydrogen sulphide and poultry dust containing bacteria, bacterial toxins and chicken skin debris. Residents breathe the polluted air emanating from these poultry farms, they said.
Besides, poultry farms should not be located within 500 metres from the residential area, 200 metres from water sources like rivers and canals, 500 metres from the reservoir, 100 metres from wells and ponds, 150-200 metres from NH, 100 metres from SH and 10-15 metres from rural roads, they informed. Villagers, led by Baishnab Charan Rout, had sought the intervention of Orissa High Court and Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) for the closure of poultry farms in the area last year.
Though a team from OSPCB conducted an inquiry into the allegation, they failed to take action as the farm was not coming under its purview. While poultry farm having more than one lakh birds come under OSPCB jurisdiction, the farm at Gamhapur has 2,000 birds. Later, they asked the Block Development Officer (BDO), Raghunathpur to take action against the farm owner.
Meanwhile, the Orissa High Court has directed the district administration to submit a report over the matter within 45 days of the order in March. Raghunathpur Tehsildar Debasish Panda on May 9 visited the village and inquired about the matter and found that the farm was situated just 50 metres from the residential area. He is likely to submit the report to Orissa High Court soon.