SONIPAT: People staying in the industrial periphery of Sonipat district's Saboli, Nathupur, Kundli, Akbarpur Barota Safiabad and Sersa are not only breathing deadly air but also paying heavily for polluted water due to industrial waste.
The industrial belt has several plastic, rubber and polyester factories of medium and large scale which is directly affecting normalcy along with the deteriorating environment. People of these villages are battling with air and water-borne diseases among which skin infection and cancer are most common.
A study shows industrial pollution contains dioxin, nitrogen dioxin, furan and benzene which are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
While speaking to ANI, Mahendra Singh (78), a resident of Saboli village who is suffering from cancer said: "I was detected with throat cancer in August 2018. The source of our drinking water is getting severely affected due to industrial waste. Of course, we can reach a solution but corruption is blocking our path."
Sanjay, a daily wage earner from Nathupur stated, "I have got a severe infection on my face and not only us but our children are also getting affected. I had no option but to install a water filter at home. This was not the case 10 years ago."
Like Sanjay, most of the residents of these villages have been compelled to depend either on water suppliers or RO or water filter for drinking. But also there are people who fail to afford them.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha was of the view that lack of pollution control regulations and governance has led to widespread dumping of effluents in its water bodies, including rivers and groundwater.
"Open burning of waste, as well as toxins released by these unregulated industries, are causing a deterioration in the ambient air quality as well. Many of these industries have come around residential areas, affecting the local residents as well the workers of these factories/industries. There are visible signs of effect on people's health in these areas, be it respiratory disorders, skin ailments, cancer cases or other pollution/contamination based diseases," added Jha.
Vijay Kumar Saroha, project coordinator, Sustainability Vision foundation trust said, "there are several unplanned industrial developments taking place which is affecting the life here massively. Moreover, none of these industries follow waste disposal system and mostly dump liquid waste in the ground or nearby water bodies resulting oily water. In every three months gap, the numbers are rising."
Locals also stated that they are now finding it hard to get their children married as people do not approach them anymore once they hear of these diseases.
Dr. Akanksha Nidhi said, "air pollution mostly affect lungs. It triggers asthama and chronic diseases. These days lung cancer is becoming the leading cause of mortality among men and women. Also industrial waste affects water condition too. It releases a toxin which causes the change in immune response. Asbestos is a serious health hazard and is carcinogenic too."
With villages and industrial area juxtaposing each other havoc health hazards are being caused and also one thing certainly peeps in why people's right to life is at stake?